Welcome to this blog of my film reviews. Some have been drafted carefully on paper, others I have sat and typed. I'm going to make it clear right now that I don't expect you to agree with my (re)views, or to like my style of writing. However, I want my views to be just out there and open, as a person who wishes to express himself from deep within. Feel free to comment and debate with me, but I do ask that you are civil and not harsh, as any comments which are basically swear words and insults will automatically be deleted. Also any text that is in orange (and often bold) is a Hyperlink to either a source, or a previous post for background reference.
Sunday, 26 September 2010
Based on Stan Lee's world-famous comic books the story follows school nerd Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire), whose life changes when he gets bitten by a genetically enhanced spider on a school trip to a genetics lab. Bitten by the spider he gains the abilities to shoot web, climb walls, gains extra strength, speed and general fighting skills, as well as exceptionally sharper eyes, ears and reflexes. After his beloved Uncle Ben (Cliff Robertson) is fatally shot in a carjacking Peter decides to use his powers for good, fighting crime and gaining the love and attention of media and the general public, and becomes 'Spider-Man'. However, physically powerful armoured terrorist the Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe), who rides a flying platform, complete with blades, and a virtually ever-lasting set of bombs, killing, destroying and kidnapping as he goes through New York.
This excellent film quite rightly started a franchise. The effects are excellent, and greatly supported by the film's top-notch editing; the aerial scenes with Spidey web-slinging his way through the city are truly outstanding, very eye-catching and memorable, and the fights with the Green Goblin above the city won't fail to impress. This also highlights the fact that the film features beautiful shots of New York City that truly capture the incredible city's essence down to a tee, that are both beautiful to look at and make you want to be there so badly. The characters are also excellent, thanks to the excellent screenplay and a very good cast. Tobey Maguire is perfect as the school nerd, yet tough and cool as Spider-Man. Dafoe is wise and slightly over-bearing, as Norman Osborn, the Green Goblin's true identity, yet powerful, intimidating, cold and sadistic as the Green Goblin. And Rosemary Harris is truly heart-warming as Peter's beloved Aunt May.
The film also features poignancy - the death of Uncle Ben is guaranteed to break one's heart, especially if you've ever had to watch someone die; and comic relief - Peter's difficulty getting used to his new abilities is absolutely hilarious as he shoots web everywhere without meaning too, and unintentionally uses it to splat schoolyard bully Flash Thompson (Joe Manganiello) with a tray full of food in the school canteen at lunch. So, all in all, there is never a dull moment, making this one of the all-time greatest superhero films, and great family entertainment. Just as good is its 2004 sequel, though the 2007 was more disappointing.
Stars: Tobey Maguire, Willem Dafoe, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Rosemary Harris, Cliff Robertson, J.K. Simmons, Bill Nunn, Michael Papajohn, Elizabeth Banks, Joe Manganiello.
Oscar nominations: Best Visual Effects (John Dykstra, Scott Stokdyk, Anthony LaMolinara, John Frazier), Best Sound Mixing (Kevin O'Connell, Greg P. Russell, Ed Novick).