The Couch Potato Report – November 30th, 2004
In The Couch Potato Report this week, there is a movie about a hero that isn’t called hero and one movie about a hero that is.
When the original SPIDER-MAN movie was released in 2002 I enjoyed it, but I didn’t really like it. My problem was with the fact that every time the lead character broke the plane of gravity his actions looked fake.
Even though director Sam Raimi and his cast did do a great job of bringing the legendary comic book character to the big screen, I just wasn’t able to get past how fake I thought the computer effects were.
I still can’t. Most of the original SPIDER-MAN film looks fake, and even though I like the movie, I find it hard to watch.
So you can imagine my trepidation when SPIDER-MAN 2 came out in theaters this past June. Oh, how I wanted the computer effects to be great!
I am happy to report that even though there are still a few parts of the film that look less that realistic, the overall movie is superb!
Now, should you be unfamiliar with the Spider-Man story thus far, here is a brief recap. Not a recap of the legacy created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko in the Marvel comic books, but a recap of the first movie.
Tobey Maguire is Peter Parker, a brainy high school outcast who transforms into an amazingly agile, web-shooting superhero named Spider Man, after he is bitten by a “super-spider.”
The radiant Kirsten Dunst is Mary Jane Watson, Parker’s girl-next-door unrequited sweetheart. At the end of the first movie, he shunned her for fear that she would get hurt if his enemies knew he loved her.
In the first movie, that enemy was The Green Goblin. Spidey’s nemesis in SPIDER-MAN 2 is the deranged, mechanically tentacled “Doctor Octopus” or “Doc Ock.”
But it isn’t the foe that is the most compelling part of SPIDER-MAN 2, it is the dilemma that Peter Parker has to face within.
He has to decide if he should continue his obligatory, lonely life of crime fighting, or pursue love and happiness with Mary Jane?
And in a rare move here on The Couch Potato Report, I’m going to tell you the ending of the movie.
Yes, he throws away his super human gifts and movies into the suburbs with the girl of his dreams to live happily ever after.
Oh no, wait, that is THE INCREDIBLES. Oops!
Of course I’m not going to tell you the ending of SPIDER-MAN 2, or any other movie for that matter.
But I will tell you that the action sequences in this movie are great!
Yes, there are times when the computer effects aren’t good enough to keep up with the action and the superb storyline, but they are so few and far in between that they never stop the film in its tracks, unlike the effects in the first SPIDER-MAN.
What also pleased me about SPIDER-MAN 2 is the fact that the script stays true to the original Marvel comic book mythology.
Spider-Man in the movie is as he was on the page for so many years before, a kid who just happens to have super powers.
SPIDER-MAN 2 is fast-paced, witty, and even a bit poignant at times. Most of all, it is fun! I liked it a lot.
I also liked the film HERO a lot.
And not the 1992 film HERO with Dustin Hoffman, Geena Davis and Andy Garcia about a down on his luck man who rescues passengers from a crashed jet but sees someone else take the credit.
No, I am speaking of the superb 2002 martial arts film HERO that finally got a North American theatrical release this year, and is debuting on DVD and video this week.
That is the HERO I am referring to.
In that HERO, a nameless warrior – played by Jet Li from ROMEO MUST DIE – arrives at an emperor’s palace with three weapons. Each one of them belonging to a famous assassin who had sworn to kill the emperor.
The nameless man explains how he acquired the weapons.
Then the emperor counters with his own interpretation of what might really have happened.
In a wonderful cinematic achievement each of the stories unfolds in red, blue, white or another dominant color.
HERO is a true delight for the eyes at it combines sweeping cinematography and superb performances. It also possesses emotion that deepens with every well choreographed action sequence.
Yes, I liked the film HERO a lot and if you are a fan of the Academy Award winning film CROUCHING TIGER HIDDEN DRAGON from a few years ago, I think you will enjoy HERO as well.
And they say that a hero can save us.
I’m not gonna stand here and wait.
I’ll hold on to the wings of the eagles.
Watch as we all fly away.
SPIDER-MAN 2 and HERO are now available at your favourite local video store.
COMING UP IN THE NEXT COUCH POTATO REPORT
DODGEBALL: A TRUE UNDERDOG STORY was one of the funniest and most entertaining films of the year, and it’s about exactly what you think it is: dodgeball. Vince Vaughn of OLD SCHOOL and a group of misfits rise to the challenge at dodgeball tournament. Ben Stiller of MEET THE PARENTS is Vaughn’s nemesis.
Assassin Jason Bourne has many nemeses, or adversaries in THE BOURNE SUPREMACY. Matt Damon reprises his role as the title character and in this second of two stories he takes on the CIA for his own survival.
Survival is the goal in every hour of the TV series 24. Now, 24: SEASON THREE is a seven disc box set that features the complete third season of the series 24. Kiefer Sutherland, Elisha Cuthbert, Dennis Haysbert as star.
I’m Dan Reynish and I’ll have more on those, and some other releases, in seven days.
For now, that’s this week’s COUCH POTATO REPORT.
Enjoy the movies and I’ll see you back here next week on The Couch!
The Couch Potato Report – November 30th, 2004