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Action - Spider-Man 3

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Spider-Man 3
Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco
Directed by Sam Raimi
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment 2007
139 minutes

Spider-Man 3 may get the M.J. - Peter Parker romance going in the opening minutes but it does not waste any time doing what it does best: showing Spiderman web surfing around New York City battling an evil dude: first, the son of the Green Goblin and Peter's former best friend Harry. The Spider-Man 3 DVD widescreen edition looks good, sounds good, and is a hell of a lot of fun to watch. Spiderman is basically an action movie with a bit of romance and comic moments and the third installment give the viewer exactly that. 3 may not be as tight as the first two movies but it is still lots of fun if a tad wee bit long.

Top of the world, Aunt May! is pretty much what Peter Parker and Spider-Man can say at the beginning of Spider-Man 3. He is in love, M.J'.s career is going well, and all of New York City loves him. Unfortunately, Flint Marko (the guy who killed Peter's uncle) escapes and becomes the Sandman, a weird black substance oozes out of a meteorite that crashed near where Peter was necking with his girlfriend, and a new guy is out for Peter's job at the Bugle.

Spider-Man has to battle the new Goblin, the Sandman, the dark version of himself, and his competition at the Daily Bugle. All this, and maintain a relationship with his girlfriend. I am sure Sam Raimi is trying for some great overall meaning with the red and black Spiderman and the changing personalities of Harry Osborn but this film school analysis subtext -especially the church scene-- gets lost in all the action and the other stuff in this movie.

I didn't buy the arrogant Peter Parker scenes, especially the two or three Travolta style Saturday Night Fever walking down Broadway sequences. This is where director Raimi could have cut a bit off the movie. There is, however, a really cool twist somewhere in Spider-Man 3.

J. Jonah Jameson, the editor of the Daily Bugle where Parker freelances provides the usual comic relief. I especially liked his opening scene where his secretary buzzes him every time he gets angry or picks the wrong medicine. I have always thought J.K. Simmons, of early Law and Order episodes fame, plays Jameson with just the right amount of cigar and scenery chewing. The other great comic moment in Spider-Man 3 is when Parker arrives at ze Frunch Resstorante, a moment right out of Monty Python so it is perhaps no coincidence ze maitre dee looks like John Cleese.

If you want to be difficult, some of the CGI in Spider-Man 3 is kind of lame. For example: the scene where Peter leaves his apartment after M.J. shows him her review looks like a cartoon; the scene where Gwen looks out the window and sees the beam looks like it was played on Sims. The computer graphics are a bit uneven overall but nothing to make you stop watching or anything like that. The flag bit is just soooo American jingoism though.

Spider-Man 3 may have a bit more story than it can handle and is a bit long at two and a quarter hours but it is still a fun to watch DVD. This, in part, because it juggles its three story elements pretty well throughout. The little moral message at the end is a bit much though.

Look for Stan Lee, Spider-Man creator, as the guy in Times Square who says "I guess one person can make a difference."

Special features include a not bad blooper reel.

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