Secret Pop

May 10, 2007

A response to Spider-Man 3

Jessie and I went to see Spider-Man 3 on a whim. From what I've heard, I was fully prepared to not like it. I do, however, like the music in all three movies, if that counts for anything.

So, I wasn't expecting to love the movie, but I was also not expecting it to be so inexcusably bad. Sam Raimi's at the helm, and it's the most expensive movie ever made. Shouldn't it not suck? Well, clearly, there's no science to these things. Because it suh-ucked. And the places where Sam Raimi might have been attempting to make it funny seemed absurd. And the places where he wanted us to listen to Kirsten Dunst sing were like being made to pay for crimes against humanity we didn't commit. When we see her singing for the third time at the end of the film, I muttered, "Oh, great. Bonus." And I didn't mean that I thought it was a bonus. In addition, nearly every time an older person spoke, the acting was so poor, I wondered if Sam Raimi was just trying to get SAG cards for every one of his relatives. Stan Lee falls outside this theory, but his acting was no less notably bad.

And then Tobey Maguire started dancing.

This film's take on the legacy of Venom is that it is the mysterious alien substance that turned Garth Brooks into Chris Gaines. Flubber pops out of meteorite whose arrival has been noticed by no one and attaches itself to motor scooter, later to give Peter Parker an emo hairdo and black eyeliner. Also, when one's darkside is being stoked, disco takes a hold of you and you can't not dance. And the ladies love you, because you are in the city and you are dancing. Ladies always love that. Some of them even faint, don't they? But this causes any potentially suspended disbelief you are experiencing to snap right back. Because Tobey Maguire is not hot. Not in the face anyway. Boyish? Okay. Homely? For sure. But not hot. And no amount of hair product will change that.

I am notoriously nitpicky about things that don't matter to anyone but me, but I also made a note about it when James Franco's butter starts burning, and then he just throws the eggs in and makes a pretty yellow omelet. No way. That omelet would have been brown. Period. And did you notice that whenever a piano player was accompanying a singer and someone walked in, requiring a melodramatic cessation of the song, the piano player stopped playing before the singer stopped singing? Who knew the band was full of psychics and/or drama queens. When my hair caught fire in the orchestra pit for Guys and Dolls, we all kept playing, and the singers kept singing. I put out the flames, brushed the fried crumbs of my once-lovely hair from the body of my violin and went right back to it. You don't halt that manhole dance just because someone put a citronella candle where they shouldn't.

And the action looked about as convincing as a video game. Did they really spend the most money ever spent on a movie just to make a "live action" film that looks like a cartoon? I melodramatically checked my ticket to see if I hadn't actually come to see Shrek.

I am very tired of that trademark carousel shot, too.

So the black gunk turns Tobey Maguire into Chris Gaines and it turns Topher Grace into Adam Carolla. Weird.

And if you're going to spend THAT MUCH money, shouldn't the scar on James Franco's face look like it wasn't made with Sculpy?

I really did still enjoy the score, though. Really.

And at the gym, I saw the local news covering the fires in Los Feliz and doing a little human interest piece on gas masks for pets. Apparently, you can just stick the gas masks on dogs, and they're cool with it. But cats -- being mistrustful and ungrateful -- have to be immobilized in a little cat duffel bag and then thrown in the river. Oh, wait. I mean and then fitted with a gas mask and carried lovingly to safety.

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