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The Full Length “Spider- Man” Review (For The Third Time)

Spider- Man
Director: Sam Raimi
Screenwriter: David Koepp; Based on the Marvel Comic Book by: Stan Lee, Steve Ditko
Peter Parker/Spider-Man: Tobey Maguire
Norman Osborn/Green Goblin: Willem Dafoe
Mary Jane Watson: Kirsten Dunst
Running time 120 minutes

After years of false starts and legal problems the first big screen version of the classic comic book hero ìSpider- Manî is set to spin into theatres on May 3, 2002.

Director Sam Raimi (Darkman, A Simple Plan, The Evil Dead films) was eventually chosen to give Spidey his cinematic bow over Chris Columbus, who went on to do great things with ìHarry Potter.î That choice plays wise in a film that is rooted in the two worlds that best suit this superhero – a comic- book geography, in which the character can climb and spin through the urban jungle just as non-Ritalin induced kids scamper about a jungle gym, and old B-movies, where things happen with a rush and no one is afraid to be a little corny.

But I like corn. Especially Popcorn.

Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) may be close with his beloved Aunt May (Rosemary Harris) and idealistic Uncle Ben (Cliff Robertson), but in a change to the comic books, his academic life isn’t quite so rosy. For one thing, he repeatedly gets picked on by his fellow high school students, but more importantly, the love of his life, red-headed beauty Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst), hardly knows he exists.

At a science-class outing to a research lab, Peter is bitten by a genetically altered spider. The next morning, he discovers that a) he doesn’t need his glasses, b ) his body is buffed out and c) he has spiderlike powers including the ability to cling to any surface, spin tough-as-rope webs and make tremendous leaps. The movie takes some time to delve into and have a lot of fun with the latter as the young man explores the range of his new abilities.

But not soon after initially reveling in his newfound web-spinning powers, he learns the hard way that with great power comes great responsibility.

Spider-Man’s main opponent this outing is the Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe), industrialist Norman Osborn in ìreal lifeî and father to his best buddy Harry (James Franco). The Green Goblin is a conflicted villain. He holds schizophrenic conversations with himself — staring into a mirror or at his evil mask –as he struggles against the villainy that has invaded his body. It is once that villainy is set free that ìSpider- Manî really gets into gear.

With a lesser cast the script could have come off as weak and contrived, but in the hands of the exceptionally talented Maguire, Dafoe and Dunst it plays just right. Said script also does a decent job of combining the origins of Spidey as we know it in the comics and creating a new world for him here.

Unfortunately some of the action sequences and computer graphics take away from the movie. Itís almost as if this $100 million+ film was made on a cheap shoestring budget. Maybe if the lighting approach wasn’t so bright, this is not a dark film, it could have covered up the apparent mistakes. I enjoyed the film more than ìSupermanî but it fails in many areas compared to the first ìBatman.î

But I do have to admit that I liked it. I liked it a lot! I thought it was really great! Not awesome, but great!

Ultimately this release does what the doctor ordered: It sets up ìSpider-Manî for a tent pole series that will continue for a long while, or at least until Maguire tires of the role, provides a satisfying first episode and compelling Jekyll-and-Hyde villain, establishes the hero’s love interest in Kirsten Dunst’s Mary Jane Watson and leaves enough threads dangling so you’re eager for the next episode.

I guess you could say that “Spider-Man” is a flawed masterpiece. A masterpiece that youíll likely see more than a few times.

So enjoy the popcorn, and Iíll see you at the movies!

By Dan Reynish, April 10, 2002.

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In case you are wondering

Will Your Favourite Shows Be Back?

Here’s the supposed fate of most tv shows for next season.

These shows have already been cleared for at least one more season:

Scrubs, Drew Carey, NYPD Blue, The Practice, Alias, Everybody Loves Raymond, Becker, Judging Amy, The King of Queens, Yes, Dear, The Guardian, C.S.I., Survivor, The District, Futurama, King of the Hill, The Simpsons, That ’70s Show, Mad TV, The Bernie Mac Show, Boston Public, Friends, ER, Frasier, Just Shoot Me, Law & Order, Will & Grace, Crossing Jordan, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charmed, Dawson’s Creek, 7th Heaven, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Gilmore Girls, Smallville, Reba, Sex and the City and Six Feet Under.

No decision yet, but expect these to return:

24, Angel, The West Wing, Girlfriends, The Parkers, Enterprise, Baby Bob, The George Lopez Show, Grounded for Life, Providence, Fear Factor, JKX: The Jamie Kennedy Experiment, Ed and Malcolm in the Middle.

Expect these to be axed:

Dharma & Greg, Spin City, The Job, The Agency, That’s Life, Pasadena, Dark Angel, Family Law, Raising Dad, Maybe It’s Me, Off Centre, First Monday, That ’80s Show and (a moment of silence, please ) Family Guy and Undeclared.

Too close to call:

Leap of Faith, Andy Richter Controls the Universe, Greg the Bunny, Titus, Law & Order: SVU and Third Watch.

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Are they or aren’t they?

They May Not Be Dead Just Yet

The Lone Gunmen–the three geeks who helped FBI Agent Mulder over the last nine years–apparently died in a recent episode of The X-Files, but they are slated to appear again in the series’ upcoming two-hour finale, the Vancouver Sun reported. It’s unclear whether the Gunmen–played by Tom Braidwood, Dean Haglund and Bruce Harwood–will appear in flashbacks or otherwise, the newspaper reported.

“Anything’s possible on The X-Files,” Braidwood told the newspaper. He added that it’s “pretty clear” the Gunmen died. “I shouted, ‘Dead man walking!’ as each of us walked on set that last day,” Braidwood said with a laugh.

As for the Gunmen’s demise, Braidwood said, “From the character’s point of view and as an actor playing a character, I personally didn’t see the justification in [the Gunmen’s being killed off], so I was a little disheartened. Largely because of the nature of the characters that we played in the show, the kind of things we represented, the humor we brought to it, the sense of morality we brought to it. But I didn’t disagree with it, in the sense that all the writers have been terrifically supportive of the Lone Gunmen and very fond of them. They didn’t make the decision lightly.”

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I hope the CGI is as good

Oz Talks Yoda

Frank Oz spoke with Sci Fi Wire about not being the puppet master of Yoda in STAR WARS EPISODE II: ATTACK OF THE CLONES.

He said that he’s relieved he did not have to operate a puppet for Yoda in the upcoming Star Wars: Episode II–Attack of the Clones. This time, Yoda’s completely computer-animated, and Oz simply provides the character’s voice.

“It was wonderful,” Oz told the site. “I didn’t have to work hard. Everybody else worked hard. [Director] George [Lucas] had told me a lot about it beforehand, so I wasn’t completely surprised. Again, they did all the work, and I’m just taking the credit here. Because they’re the ones who really worked their asses off.”

But Oz declined to reveal details about Yoda’s appearance in the prequel, including a rumored lightsaber fight. “I don’t know what I’m supposed to tell you,” he said. “I guess you have to ask George. No one has ever told me not to say anything–not once–but I always feel beholden to George and like to keep the surprises.” Episode II opens May 16.

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Uh hummina yeaaaah!!!

TENACIOUS COUPLE

Jack Black and Sarah Michelle Gellar have been named hosts of the 2002 MTV Movie Awards, to be taped June 1 in Los Angeles and airing June 6 at 9 p.m.

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From the “Who gives a rat’s ass” file

Yawn, yawn, yawn! The Rolling Stones are going to announce a new tour on Tuesday.

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Goodbye

TLC singer Lisa Lopes eulogized as creative and generous.

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This is good news (?)

Anderson: I’m Not Dying of Hepatitis C

Pamela Anderson wants the world to know that she’s not dying of hepatitis C.

The former “Baywatch” star admitted in March that she’s lived with the potentially fatal disease for years.

“Now I have people coming out of the deli hugging me because they think I’m dying,” Anderson told Jane magazine in a first-person story for its June/July issue. “I tell them, ‘I’m not dying. I’m fine. But if you wanna give me a free sandwich, go ahead!'”

The 34-year-old actress said she’s dealing with the liver disease with what she calls her “twisted sense of humor.”

“Like, when I found out I had hepatitis, I wanted to make bikinis with pictures of livers on them and give the money to the Liver Foundation,” she said.

Anderson, who’s engaged to rap-rocker Kid Rock, said she contracted hepatitis C by sharing a tattoo needle with her ex-husband, Tommy Lee. The former Motley Crue drummer insists he’s never had the disease.

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Hmmm…

There’s a shocking photo Britney Spears doesn’t want her millions of teenybopper fans to see.

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Who wouldn’t!??!?!

So…would you like to chat with Paul McCartney?