Sunday, May 20, 2007

Spiderman 3 Doesn't Jump the Shark

I had a moment during the "coming attractions movie previews" of Spiderman 3, in between the multiplying regular commercials. I realized that Marvel is a movie brand name now. Oh, I've seen the Marvel scroll before, I haven't really missed one of the movies about Marvel characters yet,(I did wait until DVD and cable late night to watch The Fantastic Four and The Hulk respectively), but it had always been a novelty to me. When they rolled that Marvel brand scroll during the preview of Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, I realized that this whole making my old favorite comic books and characters into movies had outlasted novelty and fad status.

Yeah, I know, so what. Pretty quick on the uptake there, dumbass. This has been going on for a while. Next realization: Pretty soon they're going to screw it up. Maybe calling it Jumping the Shark is behind the times a little too, hell, maybe saying behind the times is out of style now. I can go on...

This movie, Spiderman 3, I've been reading about it for what seems like years now. And it wasn't just the network hype. Now, everywhere on the blogosphere, someone is taking a shot at it for various reasons. Let me name the main ones, plot too cluttered with super-villains and a budget higher than the entire south American peninsula governments combined.

As far as the first complaint, about too many super-villains, I say, so what. Yes, he ripped through most of the great Spiderman plotlines, Green Goblin, Mary-Jane, Uncle Ben's murderer twice, and Venom. So. What.

The script winds around the three different villains just fine. Oh yeah, I didn't mention the Sandman, Flint Marko, because he never really seemed as major a character as some others. Also, I thought that devoting all of Spiderman 2 to Doc Ock was stretching it a bit. This one felt right. Because of the negative comments about this movie, I went in prepared for the worst, for it to be so full of CGI and superfighting as to be unenjoyable, like T3, or Robocop2, losing all the appeal of the first two Spiderman installments, but it was nothing like that. In fact, I think this might be the best of them all.

The effects are ground-breaking, seamless, done so well that you forget they ignore most laws of nature and physics. This movie just doesn't deserve the roasting it is getting from reviewers. Somewhere out there, either being filmed or in planning stages or just in line to be made, is that stinker movie made out of a Marvel character and storyline that are going to soil the name and brand of Marvel so much that they will not be cool anymore, and the kids that make them so lucrative will quit going to see them. Even though movies like the Punisher, Daredevil, Elektra, and the Hulk are arguments that we might have already seen the worst of them and still keep waiting for the next one, because when they get it right, well, it's undeniable fun at the theater.

Sitting at keyboards and sniping at Spiderman3 is almost villainous, but until they make a movie where he comes after the blogosphere, it's unwarranted. Like it or not, Spidey has broken through, the bad reviews had no effect on the record breaking opening weekend receipts. They will make another, and this is not a movie we will look back and laugh at ourselves for enjoying, or watching.

For example, take the Batman series, also highly profitable and popular when it started, bringing in top notch cast and directors, which might have also been it's downfall. After Tim Burton turned the Penguin and Batman into his own personal nightmare, the whole franchise spun out of control. Subsequent movies were silly, unwatchable, and with the George Clooney one, offensive. With "Batman Begins", they might have begun to right the ship, but there are two or three movies there that knocked DC and it's own movie brand on it's heels.

With Spiderman 3, Marvel has yet another success to hang on the wall, and the once nearly bankrupt company is riding high, at least until everyone gets sick of superhero movies, I probably never will, but normal people might.

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