Thursday, May 10, 2007

Tingling

Review: Spiderman 3

I don't know how spoilery I want to get here, but some of this is just too amusing not to talk about. First of all, Spiderman 3 is not a great movie. You probably weren't expecting it to be, granted. It's one of those movies that couldn't possibly be released in any month other than May (except for maybe June), one that probably cost five hundred million dollars to make but will rake in two thirds of a billion, one that has virtually no cinematic artistry to it but is based off a character and setting that were successful in another medium and so will be successful here, one that people who otherwise aren't movie people will go in droves to watch because it's the Summer Blockbuster.

I seem to remember talking about one of these around a year ago. Coincidence?

This one was in the previews, so I don't feel too bad about discussing it. At some point, Spiderman gets some black gunk over him, which of course makes his suit change colors too. In turn, this leads to a Personality Change and an Internal Conflict. The payoff here is awesome, not for any rhetorical or artistic purpose, more for the amusement. Peter Parker is usually this happy-go-lucky kid, but now we get Emo Peter Parker. And Spiderman is usually good, but he becomes pretty damn neutral in the middle of the movie. Neutral Spiderman is a sight to behold. Can we say "retribution"?

As usual there were special effects, and as usual I didn't care. We've seen it all before.

If there's some attempt at moral message here, it's most likely something along the lines of "Revenge is bad, mmmkay?" The symbolism is stifling here: when Spiderman has the need for some good old fashioned vengeance, he puts on the black suit; when he puts on the black suit, he gets less good. I liked it better the first time, when it was called Star Wars. (Although Harry did bust out a rather lightsaberish dagger during one fight scene.) On a whole, the plot was predictable. Of course Spiderman is going to have his Spiritual Redemption and become good again. And of course he's going to win the Final Battle.

Finally, where's the vaunted Spidey Sense? It didn't tingle once this movie. And boy, would it have helped in more than a few situations.

A bit of commentary on Mary Jane. That girl is ridiculously needy. Poster child for "high-maintenance." Not to mention jealous and mentally unstable... Peter Parker would to well to break up with her. I mean, if he's going to be busy being Spiderman and saving the world, the last thing he needs is some overdependent girlfriend to weigh down on his emotions. Evidently the man's got no trouble picking up girls... why settle for a mental case?


Currently listening: "Red Oyster Cult," Guster

7 comments:

Gina said...

I think you're a bit unfair to Mary Jane. I think that she was "in need" but not necessarily needy. She was going through a rough time, even before Peter started going through it, and all he could think of was himself.

Didn't he promise to always be there for her? Didn't she, even though she was mad at him, come and make sure that he was alright after they found about Flint? When Peter obviously needed her, she was there. He refused her help, but that doesn't make him manly or better for it. It makes him stupid. When she needed him, all he could think about was himself. He assumed what she was feeling based on his own self-indulgences and didn't take the time to listen to her, which, I don't think, is wrong of her to ask of him. It is, as I said, something he promised to do.

There isn't anything wrong with needing someone else from time to time. I'm kind of disappointed that you look at things like that with such disdain. Humans are social creature by nature, and it's something that's bound to happen. Some people need others more and some less, but we all have to lean on one another sometime.

Anyway, I'm not saying that she was completely without fault -- both of them were selfish at times, but I don't think she deserves nearly the blame that you're handing her.

gtg686w said...

He needs to go with the chemistry lab partner ... seriously ... she's cooler AND hotter. It's a win-win situation.

Matt Pavlovich said...

Going through a rough time, sure. She'd basically been told that she sucked as a Broadway singer and fired to boot. Fair enough. That doesn't mean she needs to get all upset with Peter for talking to his lab partner for two minutes. That's jealousy, plain and simple, which is not excused by her having a rough time. What's more, she goes and kisses another guy--not just any other guy, but a mutual friend--after she gets so mad at Peter for daring to talk to another female. Finally, she shows that this wasn't some deliberate act of malice because she starts crying afterwards. To me, this suggests total mental instability.

I don't think Peter was a perfect person. Far from it. I think he's weak-willed and hideously self-centered. Furthermore, I think that refusing Mary Jane's help was a horrible decision, maybe as bad as when he used Chemistry Lab Partner as a pawn to get back at Mary Jane. Of course I realize that people need each other. I don't look at that with disdain. What I do look at with disdain are egregious displays of emotional instability and jealousy.

And yes, he should go with the lab partner. But I think he may have burned that bridge when he used her at the height of his Neutral Spiderman extravaganza.

Gina said...

Fair enough. That doesn't mean she needs to get all upset with Peter for talking to his lab partner for two minutes. That's jealousy, plain and simple, which is not excused by her having a rough time. Hmm... the lab partner was the girl he kisses right in front of her, thinking that he could get away wit it cause he was Spiderman. I would think if my boyfriend dresses up in some mask and thinks it's okay to kiss some other woman, that'd make me upset. That's not jealousy, that's getting pissed off that your feelings are being completely disrespected, something that he had done throughout the entire movie. The fact that he knew the girl and spent time with her augmented the offense, cause it really did bring up the question -- did he kiss her as Spiderman or as Peter Parker? That's a perfectly legitimate question. The part where she said something about "having her polished fingernails all over him," was a bit over the top, but she was pissed off. I'm not saying it excuses it, but it's not something I would attribute to jealousy, but instead to being ridiculously pissed off.

"What's more, she goes and kisses another guy--not just any other guy, but a mutual friend--after she gets so mad at Peter for daring to talk to another female. Finally, she shows that this wasn't some deliberate act of malice because she starts crying afterwards. To me, this suggests total mental instability." I'm afraid that's another big no there. Cause... first I don't think she started crying. I think she backed off and left, which was the right thing to do. She was in a situation where she felt tempted, showed that she couldn't take that temptation and then removed herself from that situation. How could you ask her to act any differently? Would you prefer it if she acted in malice? That makes no sense. And even if she did cry, who wouldn't be disgusted with him/herself after doing the very thing that you got pissed off at your boyfriend at? That's not mental instability. It's a conscience.

Maybe I'm coming off a little tweaked here, but it seems like you want her to be this completely like... personality-less person, like she's not aloud to have feelings or fear or emotions. A lot of people seem to have this desire for her to be this stand-on-the-sidelines woman that she has been in previous movies, where she's there for Peter and kind of a cheerleader but not much more. And that... kind of disgusts me. lol. Yes, there are several things that she needs to take into consideration, dating a superhero but, she's still a person with wants and needs, and if Peter can't make the commitment to her then he shouldn't be dating her.

I don't think it's fair that MJ gets all of her wants and needs erased just because she's dating Spiderman. It miffs me when people accuse her of being needy and clingy when she's really not overly so. She was responding, I think, to what her boyfriend was doing. Her responses were foolish and immature, yes, but her past boyfriends were probably so into her that she never had dealt with that before. They both learned from the situation, and will have a better relationship in the future.

Haha. I ran out of characters. Bye.

Matt Pavlovich said...

"Did he kiss her as Spiderman or as Peter Parker?" is a legitimate question. I somehow get the feeling, though, that she would have been pissed off no matter how he answered it. Jealous or incredibly pissed off, either way, I don't think Peter's behavior warranted that reaction. I'm not saying that it would be acceptable for me to go around kissing other women if I were in a relationship. Peter screwed up there, no question about it. But the way Mary Jane responded to it wasn't acceptable either.

I wouldn't have preferred her to have acted in malice, but it would have shown her to be more sane at least. Kissing another guy out of spite shows that she's vindictive and vengeful, but what she did just showed her to be a horribly confused emotional wreck. Yielding to temptation doesn't make her a good person any more than yielding to revenge would have.

"And even if she did cry, who wouldn't be disgusted with him/herself after doing the very thing that you got pissed off at your boyfriend at? That's not mental instability. It's a conscience." No, but either way, she shouldn't have done it in the first place.

"It seems like you want her to be this completely like... personality-less person, like she's not aloud to have feelings or fear or emotions." Not at all. I think what she was dealing with regarding becoming an opera star then getting fired was a perfectly understandable emotional sequence that really added a bit of depth to her character. And no question, Peter doesn't do crap to help her there. She has wants and needs, and she deserves to have them. That doesn't, however, allow her to be essentially hypocritical.

"her past boyfriends were probably so into her that she never had dealt with that before." Show me evidence of that. Maybe there's a scrap of dialog that I missed, but I don't recall that coming up anywhere.

"They both learned from the situation, and will have a better relationship in the future." Yeah, and by better we mean not only "Peter is less of a dick" but also "MJ is less whiny and high-maintenance," right? :D

Best debate I've had in a while, and to think that it came from pretty much a mediocre movie.

Gina said...

You're probably right -- if he'd answered that question she still would have been pissed off, not believing him. If she didn't believe him, I would ahve some more things to say about her, but that's a moot point.

How would you have preferred her to respond to him kissing Gwen? I... I can't possibly predict how I would respond if I saw my boyfriend. I can't possibly imagine how I would try and talk to him about it if that very person just walked up and was pretty obviously flirting with him. I don't even know the right way to respond to that because, thank the gods, I never have been in that situation.

I don't see how acting in malice makes her more sane than becoming visibly emotionally upset. Both are different reactions that would fit two different personalities, and MJ's isn't the vindictive type. She acted completely within her personality, which is the essence of sanity. But I agree with you, giving in to that temptation is not good either. You're kind of pulling a non-sequitor on me here. The fact that she shouldn't have done it int he first place has nothing to do with her reaction after. People make mistakes and sometimes they feel bad right after. That's not really a symptom of mental insanity or instability or anything like that. She reacted, as I said, as was fit for her personality. Immorally definitely, but not insanely.

"That doesn't, however, allow her to be essentially hypocritical." You're right there. I agree with you. MJ does some stupid stuffs as, we agreed, does Peter.

Harry was really into her. He doted on her all the time, sometimes even smothering her as we saw in the first movie. The boyfriend she had between him and her was so into her that he got engaged to her pretty suddenly, etc. We didn't see much of the boyfriend she had in high school

Crap. Bell. I gotta go. I'll finish this later.

Gina said...

Haha. I almost got done with your comments. Darn that bell.

"They both learned from the situation, and will have a better relationship in the future." Yeah, and by better we mean not only "Peter is less of a dick" but also "MJ is less whiny and high-maintenance,"

Er... sure. LOL! If you say so, Matt. :-P

I miss debating with you. You're going to have to say wrong things more often. ;-)