Tuesday, August 7, 2012

What's Next On My Marvel List? (Movies) Spider-Man Trilogy

I want to make this one short because I believe that these movies have been dissected enough, however I do wish to state my opinion, to let us dig into:

Peter Parker is a young boy who really only has one friend, Harry Osborn, a spoiled rich kid who is desperately seeking his dad’s approval, Norman Osborn, which unfortunately only Peter receives. During a class trip to the museum Peter gets bitten by a spider whose DNA has been modified. Peter wakes up the next morning with basic spider genes. He has a spider sense that predicts when harm is about to be done to him; his skin is altered making him capable of walking and hanging on to any kind of surface and also make his own spider web. His vision is healed and he also gains extra strenght. But when he tries out himself, his proud is hurt and his Uncle Ben pays the prize for it with his life. The anger over losing him results in him fighting crime and protecting the people of his city. In the end, the fear of hurting the ones he loves results in him becoming distant and estranged to them.

Peter is now in college, still trying to fight criminals, but because of it he loses touch with his friends and is about to fail his classes. His constant doubt about who he is supposed to be results in losing his powers. He tries out life as if he were nobody special, but the constant pain of seeing others getting hurt is something he can’t stand. He was given a chance to help them and he will live with it. His enemy is Dr. Octavius, who’s robotic arms control his mind. Another problem is Mary Jane, who is about to get married to J. Jonah Jamison’s son. Although Harry finds out what Peter does in his spare time, the movie ends with Peter helping Dr. Octavius come to his senses and save Mary Jane.

Peter and MJ are finally happy, no more secrets between them. A meteor hits and a strange black substance climbs out of it and possesses Peter. He becomes darker, starting from his costume all the way to his heart and mind. He constantly hurts the people around him and abuses of their care and trust. A new rival arrives at the Daily Bugle, Eddie Brock, who starts to blame Parker for every misfortune in his life. Finally his prayers are answered when Venom falls onto him as Peter fights it off. He gains this incredible power that not even Spider-Man can match, not to mention that he teams up with the Sandman. Spider-Man is helped by Harry and he turns to his old self to save Mary Jane.

I liked the first movie. Of course, in the comic Peter wasn’t able to make his own web, but in the span of this story, I prefered the decision they made in giving him this extra power. I also liked Kirsten Dunst’s performance. The way she loved Peter without him noticing was really life like. Boys are always that stupid. In this case Peter was so blinded by his love that he didn’t see that MJ was feeling the same way. The Goblin, if you rewatch the movie now, is quite hilarious. Undoubtedly the first movie has one of the dumbest villains in the history of comic based movies. Willem Dafoe was a great Norman Osborn, but my vision of the Goblin isn’t quite like the one they portrayed in the movie. None the less, it is a great origin story, and it only has a brief scene with spiders in it, so it gets a big thumbs up in comparison with The AmazingSpider-Man (click here to read my review!).
The second one has one of my favorite scenes of all time. MJ finally discovers that Peter is Spider-Man, and understands that the only reason why he was so absent in her life is due to his duty to protect the people of the city. It gives her tremendous pain that they can’t be together, and realizes that in the end, people will kidnap her just the same, they might as well be together. However that one scene where Peter tells her that they can’t be together always tore my heart apart… that sincere expression on her face is truly beautiful. This movie also has one of the best fight scenes: Spider-Man fights Dr. Octavius on the train and afterwards he loses his mask and the people on the train are moved that this young boy would fight for them everyday – risking his own life. Most importantly I loved J.K. SimmonsJ. Jonah Jamison! I don’t know if you are at all familiar with the cartoon Ultimate Spider-Man (review coming up soon!), but in that he is also the voice of Jamison. He made this iconic character magnificient. He is the man you love to hate! Thankfully they haven’t rushed his character in the new franchise, instead they gave the spidey-hater role to Gwen’s dad, which fit perfectly; so good job!
The third was by far the worst one. It was bad for several reasons, but to be completely honest with you I never took the time to find out why others disliked it, however I would like to tell you what my problems were. I felt that Uncle Ben’s corpse had been kicked into enough times during the movies; making the story line of Sandman being his original killer completely and utterly pointless. The villain will not be more interesting if you tie him to a story line from the previous movies; no, the villain is interesting because Spider-Man fights him/her! That is it! He can still have an origin story, that’s fine, but making him something that is physically quite impossible was just a bit too much. Think of Dr. Octavius: he was revealed to us during a simple scene where Peter talks to him over tea and we get to find out more about him then about the Sandman in a whole movie and you are honestly touched by his sacrifice in destroying his whole life’s work. And I love Alfred Molina, truly great casting choice!
Another perfect example of a good villain is Harry Osborn. Harry was presented as this proud kid who is actually quite tortured because he feels he can never make his dad proud. Just when the two get to bond, Norman is killed during his fight with Spider-Man. Harry, convinced that it was Spider-Man who killed him, starts training himself – gaining power from the anger he feels over the betrayal of Peter, who seems to think of this vigilante as a hero rather than a killer. Being revealed that Peter is Spider-Man is like gasoline on fire: having lost Oscorp and MJ for good, Harry practically loses it. He then discovers his father’s weapons and mask and sets out to fight Spider-Man as the new Green Goblin. He gets defeated almost immeadiately but he is given a chance to fight again, but on the good side. Harry basically is the most tortured character and all of his moves have obvious reasons and motivations behind them. You feel for this guy, even if all along you know that Spider-Man never killed Norman and that you are constantly pissed, wishing Peter would just tell him… but still you understand why things got the way they did and when Harry finally finds closure you can’t help but feel happy for him.
An example of a really bad villain, besides Sandman of course, is Venom. Oh boy… Where do I even begin?
Let’s introduce Dr. Curt Connors in the second movie, let’s lay the groundwork to bring in the Lizard. Let us also bring in Captain John Jamison, an astronaut who actually has the chance to bring Venom to Earth. Then please, and this is the most important one: FORGET THIS COMPLETELY AND MAKE UP A WHOLE MOVIE THAT MAKES NO SENSE! Bring in four characters you have NEVER seen before, just because they appear in the comics, give them no back story at all and no character development whatsoever. Also make sure that the damsel in distress gets kidnapped for the 100th time now! You’d think that after the second time she would at least buy herself a maze!

I feel that they wanted to please a lot of people, while completely losing track of what their already existing fan base would’ve liked to see. Yes, I do admit that Venom is by far the favorite villain of all time – and I understand that they thought about bringing him in. But there was no need for Sandman or Gwen for that. Harry had his ark which they didn’t forget about and I was grateful. But what drives me mad is that they did in fact lay the ground work for Venom, and then that stupid meteor arrives... Do you know humans? They go crazy over these things – are you telling me that a meteor hits in Central Park and NOBODY gives a shit? Why didn’t this have any consequences?
Honestly I liked the third movie when I saw it, but ever since then I hate it immensily and never wish to see it again. During one of the field trips we took in high school, on the buses on our way to Paris, I was quite sleep deprived and finally managed to fall asleep, when I woke up to the sound of this stupid movie shouting and pumping from the speakers – while the day before when we watched Mamma Mia!, they kept turning the volume down... thanks, thanks a lot! So no, my memories of this movie aren’t really good. I always liked Gwen Stacy and Eddie Brock, and they cast pretty good people for the roles and didn’t really use them for anything. Anyway the movie pretty much goes this way:

Peter discovers the Sandman killed Uncle Ben - Peter hates the Sandman.
Harry thinks he killed his dad - Harry hates Spider-Man.
Peter defeats Eddie at the Daily Bugle - Eddie hates Peter.
Peter kisses Gwen - Mary Jane hates Peter.
Peter uses Gwen to hurt MJ - Gwen hates Peter.

It’s really stupid and in the end nothing is really resolved. I’d say that you should watch it, because no matter how you look at it: it was the end of a great franchise and people need closure. If you watch all the three movies together hopefully the second one will cancel out the silliness of the first and the dumbness of the third. In the end James Franco makes it worth your while!

Until the next items on my list! 

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