D'Arcy from Winnipeg
Solution Architecture, Business & Entrepreneurship, Microsoft, and Adoption

Spiderman 3 Review, or "Curse You Sam Raimi...Why?....WHY?!"

Saturday, May 5, 2007 4:08 PM

WARNING - This post gives away massive spoilers to the new Spiderman 3 movie. If you don't want to ruin the movie for yourself, stop reading this now...delete it from your blog reader...avert your eyes as you scroll over the GWB feed. Otherwise, enjoy the post.

Overall Score - Average Person (Non-Comic Book Geek)   2/5

Overall Score - Comic Book Geek (Casual)  3/5

Overall Score - Comic Book Geek (Snob) 1/5

Ovarall Score - Venom Fanatic -Infinity/5 (yes, that's a negative sign in front of the word Infinity)

I of course fall into that last grouping. I have the Secret Wars comic that the symbiote first appeared, the first regular appearance of the black suit in Spider Man comics, the first appearance of Venom...Words cannot express my man-love and geeky devotion to the Venom character. But let's talk about the movie on a whole.

First off, if you're a comic geek you have to throw away everything you know about the spiderman story arc...forget it going in...this is alternate-reality space for us. My biggest fear of the movie was that Raimi was going to try and do too much in this third installment, with the fear that maybe his stars wouldn't return for a fourth (so let's jam as much as we can into this one). So we have the unfinished Green Goblin storyline (where the Green Goblin ends up becoming a good guy in the end to help Spidey because his butler's profound words obviously have more power than his father's voice that seems to linger in his head).

Then we have the Sandman storyline, where Sandman is shown to be a good con at heart who just made poor decisions. He was only stealing money to help his sick daughter, and he really didn't mean to kill Peter's uncle (so basically its Sandman in appearance and power alone, not in actual storyline).

Then we have the Symbiote storyline, where a meteor just "happens" to fall to Earth, and the symbiote just happens to hop onto Peter's bike. However...I did like how they showed Peter turning somewhat bad-ass and enjoying the symbiote's power. However...did they have to make him look all emo? Dude looked like the long lost member of Good Charlotte.

Oh...and I don't know exactly how long after the second movie this was supposed to happen...but do you think that JJ Jameson would still be a little pissed that his almost-daughter in law left his son at the alter for his photographer? This would have made an excellent reason to do one of the alternate storylines in the comics where JJ's son is actually Venom. But instead we get...

Venom...the BEST Spiderman villain EV-AR! Now I know what you're thinking: Was Topher REALLY the best casting decision for Venom? Maybe not (physique wise), but he was really good as Eddie...I really enjoyed him actually. Unfortunately, any hope that Venom would be the primary villain in Spiderman 4 (if that ever happens) was squashed by a HORRIBLE script decision. Let's see...

Eddie is called out by Peter about his fake picture...ok, that's jives (was a fake story, but close enough)
Eddie is humiliated and fired...good so far...
Eddie loses Gwen Stacey as a girlfriend...yeah, I believe his ex-wife's name was Anne.
Eddie goes to church to pray that God kills Peter Parker...actually, Eddie is a devout Catholic and goes to the church to pray for forgiveness because he was contemplating suicide.
Eddie as Venom teams with Sandman to take down Spidey and DIES. Yes, you read that right: Raimi has KILLED VENOM. And if Venom isn't dead, I'd LOVE to hear their explanation of how he survives.

Horrible...you have a MONEY character in Venom and you squander him?! I can accept the changes in the storyline (kind of hard to explain Secret Wars in such a short time-span, and they had to move Eddie's story arc along in the movie), but I stopped caring for the movie as soon as that scene happened...total BS.

Other stupidity in the movie:

- A scene where bad-Peter takes Gwen Stacey to a jazz club where MJ is singing (to make her jealous) and does a piano number and jazz dance routine...I kid you not.

- Green Goblin doesn't actually wear the "Green Goblin" mask...its more like a retractable paintball mask. Green Goblin is also scooting around on a kicked up hovering skateboard that he must have borrowed from Back to the Future.

- They have a scene where Harry and MJ are cooking an omellete together, and they spent time doing these great overhead shots of the stove while things are cooking...I mean, awesome if this was the FOOD NETWORK.

- Peter takes a sample of the symbiote to Dr. Connors, where Connors says "Peter I'm a physicist not a biologist...so I can only speculate." Then a few scenes later Connors is talking to Peter about the apparant biological makeup of the substance while we see some lizard skeleton in the background...I thought he was a physicist?!

- Y'know...seriously...if I was MJ, I'd get a little tired of always being the damsel in distress. Let's recap:
    Spiderman 1  - Rescued from that bridge in NYC and the Green Goblin
    Spiderman 2  - Resuecd from certain doom at the hands of Doc Oc
    Spiderman 3  - Harry threatens MJ with violence unless she breaks up with Peter and THEN she gets
                            aprehended and placed in a taxicab suspended from a building under construction

Now, this may sound like I'm down on the movie...but it wasn't all horrible...just maddening. It was a good time, and its worth the price of admission. But it's not the best of the trilogy, and of course the whole Venom thing really just screws the pooch for me. However...there is one special cameo that makes this movie: Bruce Campbell! No, unfortunately Ash is not in this as a villain attacking Spiderman with his boomstick...but he does play a pretty funny Maitre-de!

Sigh...they better not f**k up Transformers....

*Edit: Robert May didn't like the movie either.



# re: Spiderman 3 Review, or "Curse You Sam Raimi...Why?....WHY?!"

Although I never was really into the comics so I have nothing to compare against. I found that the issue with this movie is that it strayed. I found the previous two movies to be set in the real world with some extreme heroes/villains but everyone else was normal. Suddenly in this one everyone is on drugs or something with that strutting scene, jazz scene, etc. real people would be laughing at the special kid. It was a fun movie though but just strayed off the path the other two laid out. 5/6/2007 4:41 AM | Dave Woods

# re: Spiderman 3 Review, or "Curse You Sam Raimi...Why?....WHY?!"

Hey Dave, although they weren't laughing at him, the women started looking at him like he was a weirdo (which he was). Still, I think they overdid it. It would have been cooler if he hadn't become so goofy. 5/6/2007 2:53 PM | Shadowin

# re: Spiderman 3 Review, or "Curse You Sam Raimi...Why?....WHY?!"

I share your opinions on this movie, mostly, although I actually thought Harry's choice of gear made more sense (even if it did stray from the comics.) Harry's basically a spoiled rich kid, right? The hoverboard and hockey mask say "badass" way more than dad's old school GG stuff.

sandman looked great, but wasn't sandman.

venom... dont get me started. I prefer superdeformed venom anyway... but thats another story. 5/6/2007 8:35 PM | Blogus Maximus

# Will Venom return?

It is possible that Venom could return in #4. Peter's professor still has a piece of him in the lab. 5/7/2007 12:28 AM | Scott Kuhl

# re: Spiderman 3 Review, or "Curse You Sam Raimi...Why?....WHY?!"

Well, Dr. Connors has a piece of the symbiote...but that alone doesn't make it "Venom". Venom, in my mind, has to be the combination of Eddie Brock and the Symbiote...its their mutual hatred for Peter that really brings the Venom character to life.

What I can see them doing in the 4th one is having some horribly deformed storyline that brings in Cletus Cassidy into contact with the symbiote and creates Carnage...but then that leads down a slippery slope where all comic book geeks will rebel and start burning down theatres or something. ;)

D 5/7/2007 2:23 AM | D'Arcy from Winnipeg

# re: Spiderman 3 Review, or "Curse You Sam Raimi...Why?....WHY?!"

I had an uber-long response which ripped apart some of your items above, but then the blog post had an error and it got removed (leave it to uber-comic-geek to do this). However, some items you mention above I was going to say.

For Sandman, this is true to the comic. Not his original appearance back in the 60s, but they investigated the character more thoroughly in the last 15 years of comic-writing. A similar history was in place as per the movie (not a sick daughter, but a humanitarian effort), and he was eventually pardoned for his crimes. He joined the Avengers in the same issue that Spider-Man officially did as well (Volume 1, Issue 340), and eventually went to work for Silver Sabre as one of her super-powered employees.

The direction with Harry was a cross between original Amazing Spider-Man and Ultimate Spider-Man, and that's where some comic fans get messed up. The new Ultimate series (actually, for most Marvel-based movies) is closer to the movie version. Why? It hasn't been around as much (focusing on originating the characters in the late 90s instead of the 60s), so the viewers of the movies have more of a chance to get the entire history of their characters. (For example, Ultimate Spider-Man has not much over 100 issues to date; the original Spider-Man has numerous iterations, multiple titles, etc, in fact over 600 issues total to dedicate to his history if not more.) How else would a company like Marvel with its franchise do such a thing? (And DC has done it too, with All-Star Batman and All-Star Superman... it's a moneymaker to bring new readers on board with familiar characters but just different enough variations!)

My major beef with the movie was the dance scene with Peter in the jazz club and on the street. To me, this was not Sam Raimi; this was his brother, Ivan, trying to put his pieces into the movie (he was co-writer) and Sam just appeasing him. (Third brother Ted was in the movie again, being the guy at the Bugle who was trying to recreate its image to JJ.)

My 2 cents. :) 5/7/2007 4:32 AM | Kelly

# re: Spiderman 3 Review, or "Curse You Sam Raimi...Why?....WHY?!"

I'm glad that you agree on the Venom aspect at least.

I was watching the Totally Awesome Show on Revision3 and they did a review of SM3...one of the guys described the jazz-bar scene perfectly:
It was like The Mask!

D 5/7/2007 4:36 AM | D'Arcy from Winnipeg

# re: Spiderman 3 Review, or "Curse You Sam Raimi...Why?....WHY?!"

Actually does the professor not still have some of the symbiote? Thus another venom could emerge. I'm not actually sure if they were taking the piss during that film, but it was very funny! 5/8/2007 5:36 AM | george

# re: Spiderman 3 Review, or "Curse You Sam Raimi...Why?....WHY?!"

Well, as I mentioned in an earlier comment on this post:

"Well, Dr. Connors has a piece of the symbiote...but that alone doesn't make it "Venom". Venom, in my mind, has to be the combination of Eddie Brock and the Symbiote...its their mutual hatred for Peter that really brings the Venom character to life."

So they could do the Carnage storyline if they wanted to, but they can't do the Venom one.

D 5/8/2007 5:38 AM | D'Arcy from Winnipeg

# re: Spiderman 3 Review, or "Curse You Sam Raimi...Why?....WHY?!"

I'l put it simply like this: "I'v lost half a dollar and two hours watching the movie" 5/9/2007 10:33 PM | rakesh

# re: Spiderman 3 Review, or "Curse You Sam Raimi...Why?....WHY?!"

I have to admit, I liked the movie. There were two problems for me though: it was made almost like a chick flick. I mean the whole kiss thing with Gwen Stacey and MJ being pissed; that's what an over emotional woman would have a problem with. The whole, "I love you MJ, and I want to be with you." Then taking it back and saying he can't, then in the end, being with her. She knows he's Spiderman, he can't always be there for her but he will eventually (marriage later).
Second, the bad Spiderman of course. They should have portrayed this side of him, more in the sense of when he broke Eddie's camera and destroyed his career. They shouldn't have done the whole walking down the street unless he was going to grab the nearest woman and f**k her in an alley or something. If they show Spiderman turning evil with the suit on, it would have been more believeable in the dark possessive sense and not the cheesy, "I know everyone wants me" cocky attitude.

*Pet peeve-I hate when storylines go unfinished when there might not be another. They didn't show us what happened to Flint's daughter or even mention her. They just completely ignored that arc in the movie.
Venom didn't die because that's not possible (in the sense that he was in the movie for 10 minutes). This is going to turn away from the comics, but I've thought about it alot, he probably just needed some time to heal from the sound, so he somehow slithered away unnoticed back to his meteor. He couldn't have been killed because he's way to large of a comic book character to be in only one movie. (It's like watching a season of Buffy without Angel being mentioned once. Or a season of Angel without Buffy being mentioned once).

If they did make another movie, I think they would head more toward the Hobgoblin area because the goblin seems to play a part everyone has seen in the movies whether a fan or not. It's another character that's familiar to the viewers and they know they'd be able to understand it. I would imagine another villian, but I believe Robert would at least appear.

I have to say one thing about the whole Goblin Jr./Harry outfit. I don't care whether or not they gave him the right outfit. What they did give him was frickin hot and if some guy came up to me with that retractable mask, bullet proof vest, hover snowboard and that awesome sword; I'd tell him he should leave his clothes on, cause I'm taking mine off. 5/10/2007 10:01 AM | Maxelia...'Max'

# re: Spiderman 3 Review, or "Curse You Sam Raimi...Why?....WHY?!"

venom has to return since thats how carnage is created and also he helps spiderman defeat him. and i dont care what anyone says...if there is another spiderman movie, carnage HAS to be in it. go ahead and think of a better villain. 5/12/2007 5:23 PM | tmoney

# re: Spiderman 3 Review, or "Curse You Sam Raimi...Why?....WHY?!"

I heard a contract for 4, 5 and 6 is already signed by paramount or universal or something. Doesn't matter if Tobey Maguire will be Spiderman or not (I think it'll be some type of James Bond thing. One actor plays him til they don't want to anymore, than another steps in-let's hope not).

I agree, Carnage definitely HAS to be in the next movie. They just sarted on the two villian track, so I expect to see two (which we already know one). I guess we'll have to wait and see for the other.

*Does anybody know why Sam Raimi lets his brother bring him down? He should just tell him its not a family business and buy him a car to keep him out of his movies. 5/12/2007 9:28 PM | Maxelia...'Max'

# re: Spiderman 3 Review, or "Curse You Sam Raimi...Why?....WHY?!"

"They shouldn't have done the whole walking down the street unless he was going to grab the nearest woman and f**k her in an alley or something."
If that was possible I'd do it! :D 5/21/2007 10:39 PM | fan

# re: Spiderman 3 Review, or "Curse You Sam Raimi...Why?....WHY?!"

there is no green goblin in spiderman 3, hes meant to be the hob-goblin, but they never gave him a name, second i dont think venom is dead....what would spiderman 4 be about then??? maybe the return of the green goblin (i know in the comics he comes back alive :p)or it might be dr connors turning into the lizard dude, or maybe scorpio, rhino, la de da, loads of opportunity, but there's one thing i agree with you....this is probably the worst out of the three, but dunno what ones the best one, 1's funny, cos of green goblin making his stupid jokes, but 2 has more the action in. 6/2/2007 8:34 AM | H

# re: Spiderman 3 Review, or "Curse You Sam Raimi...Why?....WHY?!"

did anyone notice that the character that played the green goblin in spider-man 1 was in the jazz club with this lady. Peter and gwen sat infront of them. it was pretty funny cause his sopposed to be dead. 12/21/2007 7:44 PM | Charles

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