Marvel Movie Madness! Part 22: Spider-Man

Summary

Luke: You know a comic book movie's big when it transcends genre and becomes part of the mainstream pop consciousness. Like Richard Donner's Superman, Burton's Batman and, later, Nolan's The Dark Knight, Spider-Man felt like an event; and it was: domestically it was the highest-grossing film of 2002 -- beating Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter -- and helped crown Marvel's movie renaissance begun with Blade and X-Men. Back to Article

Comments

Noah James

Noah Kinsey

This movie was amazing. I love how every once and awhile these writers sneak in comments I made in previous Marvel posts. I don't need a shout-out, but I hope they mentally give me props when writing them.

Tim (and the other guys) - be VERY careful when you try and guess what diehard fans of the superhero did/didn't like about a movie. You mentioned how how the web-slinging came from his wrist, instead of him making those devices, and how you suspected that fans didn't mind the change.

FALSE. I grew up reading Spider-Man, and - while I found a way to suck it up and not let it bother my viewing - I DID have a problem with. In fact, I remember a LOT of fans not liking the change. It really takes away from Peter's intelligence. In the movie, we get that he's smart - but more in a nerdy way than the genius he was. But don't assume a major change in the movie didn't ruffle a few feathers before they saw the movie.

I had a major problem initially with Tobey playing Peter. He fits the pre-spider bite Peter, but not the later years where he gets comfortable with himself and is pretty charismatic. But once again, I sucked it up and accepted it while watching. I do not, however, agree that it would be hard to imagine anyone else playing it - or that he fit the role perfectly. Look at his "cocky" performance in 3 to see how eye-covering bad he is at playing confident.

I completely agree with Dunst not being the IDEAL actress to play the stunning MJ. However, Rogue was supposed to be stunning and sexy as hell, and they chose Paquin to play her (well, technically, she played a Rogue/Jubilee hybrid) - so at least Dunst was closer than her.

I too had an issue with GG. Like I said in a previous Marvel RT column, the Power Rangers comparison was a bit much. However, I appreciated Raimi and Co. trying to come up with a logical reason for GG to have a costume. Armor made sense, though it would've been better (and more logical for military combat)had it been a suit closer to Batman's.

Jun 27 - 06:45 PM

Alan Smithee

Alan Smithee

The Power Ranger comparison makes perfect sense.

Jun 27 - 07:15 PM

Manuel G.

Manuel Granados

I am not a Spiderman fan, was for a while, but it did bother me too that he threw the spiderwebs rather than make them. Plus, it made him kind of icky, too much like a spider. And he is a genius, not in Iron Man's or Reed Richards' league but a genius and here he just comes off as nerdy.

The one thing I missed in the whole trilogy is the snarky spidey, Tobey just can't pull off being sarcastic, not that the writers even tried, but Spiderman has a very unique sense of humor, not as deranged as Deadpool, but his one liners in the comics were awesome. And in the movies they were just gone, they got replaced with romantic mushy mopey stuff, which is my biggest gripe with the second one, because in the first he's still growing some confidence.

Jun 27 - 08:56 PM

Noah James

Noah Kinsey

I would agree with you for the most part. Peter was closer to Reeds in smarts, but smarter than Stark.

Jun 27 - 09:20 PM

gridlock'd2

First Last

It was more important to make Peter an everyman than a super-genius. Him making web-slingers from scraps in his bedroom in Queens as a high school student goes beyond bright. That's freakish super-intelligence. People can no longer relate to him.

Plus, here's a kid who was just granted superpowers. Oh but that's not enough for him, so he makes himself some more powers. If you woke up tomorrow and could scale walls, would you immediately start working on a jetpack? It's like if Superman created an invisibility potion.

Jun 27 - 10:09 PM

Manuel G.

Manuel Granados

I guess you do have a point gridlock'd, there wasn't enough time in the movie to make you relate to spidey the way the comics did over 40 years. But the fact that he mutates to the point that he produces his own webbing...I don't know, just made me think of that spiderman clone or whatever it is that actually has 6 arms and 2 legs and a spider mouth. Less of an average guy with superpowers and more of a freak of nature. Ok maybe not average guy cause he's freakishly smart, but you get my point. "Oh yeah MJ, I am now technically a spider, but I look human, and if in need I can make you a dress, wanna make out?" "Fuck you weirdo" would certainly be what would happen.

Jun 27 - 11:22 PM

Noah James

Noah Kinsey

grid- I completely disagree. Had they gone the original way and viewers weren't able to relate to Peter, that would be the filmmakers' fault - not the source material. Readers had NO problem identifying with his angst back when the comics came out.

Jun 28 - 12:25 AM

Justin D.

Justin D.

Actually the organic web-shooters was one of the few things I didn't mind them changing in the movie. Granted it took away all the "Oh no! Out of web fluid," moments from the comics, but for the fast paced action of the film it fits. And I have to say I agree w/ the Power Rangers comparison (I made it myself not realizing the RT staff did too). The Green Goblin was always one of Spidey's campy villains but the version in the movie was so goofy I almost expected Rita Repulsa to show up and throw her staff down to make him grow.

Jun 27 - 10:32 PM

Noah James

Noah Kinsey

Really? I was waiting for Alpha to cry "aye yaye yaye yaye yaye!!"

Jun 28 - 12:38 AM

gridlock'd2

First Last

I took for granted in the comics how crazy the idea of webshooters are when I read the comics but in a moive you'd have to ask: How did he make them? Where does he get this an endless supply of fluid? How did he make a substance strong enough to support his body weight? And he made it with what, a home chemistry set? And he makes it every night? How much does it cost? Nothing? Where did he get the materials? Nearby dumpster? So he got bit by a radioactive spider and only recieved MOST of the powers of a spider? Everything except the thing spiders are most known for? It's like getting all the powers of a fish except being able to breathe underwater.
So say he does all this, clearly this high school student is a genius. He should probably work at NASA. So he goes to get a job... as a newspaper photographer? Isn't that kinda squandering your gifts? He should be curing cancer. Doing some real good in the world. Not delievering pizza.
Well, we'll see. Supposedly he's got mechanical web shooters in the reboot. I guess we'll get our answers there.
No, I was a huge fan of the comics and I think the first movie is perfect.
My only tiny gripe is he didn't quip enough once he put on the costume. It should have released his inner smart-ass. Bothers me that Iron Man is witter than Spider-Man in the movies.

Jun 28 - 06:14 AM

Manuel G.

Manuel Granados

That's my usual gripe with the whole series. And what baffles me is that it's not like Raimi doesn't know how to direct someone being a smartass, Bruce Campbell is a wiseass in every single appereance he makes anywhere, why couldn't they transfer some of that to Spiderman? Spiderman, the character, doesn't have a single memorable line that makes you think "that's the guy I remember from the comics!" his personna wearing the suit and out of it is basically the same dweeby nerdy guy.

Jun 28 - 08:50 AM

Murdoch

Murdoch +

Worst of all, it didn't add to the enjoyment of the movie at all . . . . That scene and every subsequent scene throughout the trilogy where the camera would focus on some random pedestrian saying "go spidey, go" really made it clear: this is a movie. . . . .these guys are actors. . . . . . currently trying to deliver lines as earnestly as possible

Jun 27 - 07:15 PM

Alan Smithee

Alan Smithee

The Power Ranger comparison makes perfect sense.

Jun 27 - 07:15 PM

Jason B.

Jason B

I've heard this before and it always baffles me: When someone says something to the effect of "I find it hard to believe that a person could invent webshooters, the organic webbing makes more sense to me." Ok first of all, that is hard to believe, yet A SPIDER BITING YOU AND GIVING YOU SUPER POWERS ISN'T? Where the hell exactly do you check your suspension of disbelief. And secondly, if he was going to get organic webbing isn't it convenient that it comes out of his wrists instead of say, oh I don't know, his ass...like a spider? (I'm aware spider's dont actually shit webs, please don't comment on that *groan*)

Organic webbing sucks. Peter is a genius and his invention is part of showcasing that and part of what makes him him. It really does take something away from the character when every single thing that makes him Spider-man is just handed to him. So I agree with Noah that no, most comic readers probably did not enjoy the change. While I certainly do think this is a great film, I feel that changed served no purpose but to irritate fans. The story would have played out exactly the same no matter how his webs come out, so what did that change accomplish beyond taking an aspect of what makes Peter, Peter away?

Jun 27 - 07:18 PM

Murdoch

Murdoch +

first of all: if they had decided to make spidey shoot webs out of his ass, then this would've been the single greatest comic book movie ever. Seriously, way better then dark knight, cause even when you tried to analyze its plot, you'd just end up going "HOLY SHIT. . .toby maguire's swinging on a rope with his ass. . . . This movie is fucking AWESOME!". . . . . Secondly: the whole "genius inventor even before he was a hero" thing is just a plot device for when there's no explanation for how something came into being. . . . Case in point: michael keaton putting the batmobile back together after escaping the police in batman returns. . . . .by himself. . . .in the dark.

Jun 27 - 07:42 PM

Manuel G.

Manuel Granados

Bruce Wayne is one of the smartest men in the DC universe. If he couldn't fix his own car he wouldn't be much of a Batman would he? And it'd look so dumb that he was all "uhhh the car broke down, let me get my batphone and call Alfred to bring a batowing truck". Now I can picture that in the Adam West one but not afterwards.

Jun 27 - 09:00 PM

Noah James

Noah Kinsey

I agree. In order to keep his identity safe, Bruce would have to know how all of his devices worked. Can't exactly ring up AAA if the Batmobile breaks down.

Jun 27 - 09:17 PM

Murdoch

Murdoch +

You missed my point . . . . .its not just the entire batmobile that keaton's batman can design, construct, take apart and put back together at will like it was made from legos . . . . Its that intelligence used to mean something in comics & movies, like when it helped in finding the criminal . . . .now its a deus ex machina. . . . Batman can make a batmobile, batwing and batboat all by himself. . . . . Lex makes traps that superman constantly falls for despite all his super-senses. . . . . . Tony stark can make a minature nuclear reactor with spare parts from weapons . . . . Ozymandian knows how to fool dr manhattan even though the guy can see into the future. . . . All this is possible because . . . . . . say it with me now. . . . . They're the smartest men in the universe. . . . . Or: a writer's attempt to move the story forward by blaming it on "the resident genius"

Jun 27 - 09:29 PM

Justin D.

Justin D.

@ rzzyh - I agree. It's just a writer's device to explain something that, if held under close scrutiny, would make no sense. If Peter were smart enough to make such a remarkable substance in his own bedroom in Queens, w/ no high tech lab equipment, I wouldn't try to show great responsibility by being a super hero; I'd patent the stuff and make millions, then give generously to charity and to the community. Like you said, it's a simple case of deus ex machina.

Jun 27 - 10:39 PM

Matanuki

Matanuki .

Lazy writing is standard in Hollywood.

Jun 28 - 01:49 AM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

I do like when Spiderman joined The Avengers in the comic book and Spidergirl and Hawkeye are talking about him. Spiderwoman whispers to him. "I think Spiderman is like one of those super-genius sciencey guys." and Hawkeye's like "Really" and they both look at him and he's dangling upside down cramming a half-eaten ham sandwich in his mouth. Comedy gold. They need more of that in Spider-Man these days.

Jun 28 - 05:13 AM

Manuel G.

Manuel Granados

Actually Justin, Spider-man tries to make money out of his newfound powers at the start. He tries to become a celebrity (in the movie they did the wrestling thing) and that neglect of his powers for good is what gets his uncle killed. That's why he doesn't go out and make millions and donates them to charity, he feels responsible that if he hadn't been such a brat and concerned about himself only then his uncle wouldn't have died.

Jun 28 - 01:06 PM

Murdoch

Murdoch +

@Manuel g: this is gonna sound really mean ( and I apologize in advance) but exactly how old are you?. . . . I'm asking because you genuinely seem incapable of grasping the finer elements of what justin and I seem to be saying. . . .earlier, I was trying to point out that too often comic and film writers use a character's sharp mind as the reason seemingly impossible technological feats can be accomplished. . . . Your response: smarts are how non-powered heroes make their mark in a super powered tale. . . . Right, and water quenches your thirst. . . . . Next, when justin presents a theory that if the "smart" heroes are really walking human computers, why not rely on their vastly superior brains rather than their not so great physical abilities. . . . . Your response: wait, but peter did try to make money off his skills and then he learned his lesson and then he became a hero and. . . . . Yawn. . . . For someone who likes to reply a lot, you don't seem to be able to infer what is being said, and then you provide some unbelievably obvious observation and try to pass it off as analysis. . . . . .hence the question: exactly how old does somebody have to be to consider what you keep writing as 1) relevant to the conversation and 2) anywhere in the vacinity of meaningful analysis?

Jun 28 - 03:42 PM

Manuel G.

Manuel Granados

Fair. First I guess I have to explain why my answers. To your first reply, I never denied that it is a plot commonly used by comic book writers back in the day to explain whatever couldn't be explained, but everything in origin stories can be called DEM (a seemingly inextricable problem is suddenly and abruptly solved with the contrived and unexpected intervention of some new event, character, ability, or object). The thing is that in both that I replied to, you guys are using real world logic to explain, not only comic books, but movies based on comic books, situations that make no sense. Now, if you ask me, that is never going to work out because then nothing makes sense, why don't people you know...just shoot them in the head? That'd end the story quite quickly. We are suspending disbelief by simply opening the comic book or entering the movie theater, so the smartest man on the planet, even though it is easily the second most used solution to problems in comic books, is something we have to simply accept. Yes, I never said it wasn't overused to explain whatever, but trying to mash it in with cold hard logic then nothing in the comic books would make sense. In response to Justin's "I would make a patent, become filthy rich, not bother using my superpowers and donate to charity" I replied that Spider-man had already tried it. Using superhero and comic book logic: why do we look up to Spider-man as a hero and not the million of inventors in history? Because he didn't make a patent, he's different from us not only because of his powers, because of his moral code. Why you and I seem to not be getting one another is because you are trying to adapt something out of fantasy to real life every day logic and I chose to suspend disbelief. But if I move into everyday ocurrences: then yeah, nothing that happens in this is plausible and 90% is actually laughable and absolutely ridiculous, the fact that he can swing from building to building at the speed he is doing it and then suddenly and abruptly lands on a paved street, on his feet, on a full stop, shouldn't his legs break or his spine snap? But then, where's the fun? As for relevancy to the conversation: is it really relevant that Batman shouldn't be able to put together the batmobile alone in the dark and instead he should take a cab or walk back? How and in which conversation is that relevant?

Jun 28 - 04:30 PM

Justin D.

Justin D.

@ Manuel - The thing about a movie or even a comic book is that the logic still has to use a level of realistic logic. You missed the point of what I was saying w/ my response. He tried to become a celebrity out of personal gain, to buy a car to impress a girl. I'm saying that he use his miracle substance to get rich, not for celebrity, but for the benefit of mankind. His web fluid could be used in medicine, or for construction projects, or to help police subdue suspects. On top of making a bundle off of this stuff to help people he donate a portion of his earnings to various charities and to help build up his community. At this point if he wanted to become super hero it would be just for the hell of it but he would definitely not need to do so. Nowhere did I say he should patent it just for the sake of making money.

But all of that is moot when it comes down to the main point rzzyh and I are making. The point is that when a writer can't come up w/ a logical explanation as to how a character w/ no high tech lab equipment, training, or the like invents a super durable, spider-like substance in the comfort of his own Queens bedroom, they simply use the response, "he's a super genius." This is what's known as deus ex machina.

Jun 28 - 09:52 PM

Manuel G.

Manuel Granados

But if you guys see my answers nowhere have I said that it is not a DEM, comics are full of them in the origin stories. What I am rebating is that this doesn't make them less enjoyable or makes us relate to them any less. I just pointed out that it is a common pattern that those with rather crappy or no superpowers usually have genius like intelligence. I don't know why my answer was taken as a "I think you are wrong". But if the purpose was for people to say "yes" then I guess we have been doing it all wrong. So...yes, the DEM is pretty damn common in comic books and movies, we still read em/watch em regardless of that. We came to this point, we are both right, we agree we are, so how was your day?

Jun 28 - 10:13 PM

Manuel G.

Manuel Granados

I see where you are going. But these men were created 60+ years ago for the most part, 30 on the youngest ones. Sure, on paper Spiderman's powers sound good but if he wasn't super smart he'd easily get squashed like you know, a real spider. Batman was the common man's response to Superman's all mighty personna. He had to have something Supes didn't have, therefore, he's a genius. See the pattern, all those with rather crappy powers, except for Xavier, are pretty damn smart. Why? To have somethig to make them super, otherwise they'd be just a notch ahead of normal people. And when you have normal people wearing suits...well they are just Kick-Ass, and while he's ok, I am betting that any of Spiderman's villains could dispose of his average self in about 2 hits. It is a deus ex machina plot device for sure, but EVERYTHING in comic books can be attributed to a deus ex machina, it's not like the origin stories are not completely believable.

Jun 27 - 09:42 PM

Noah James

Noah Kinsey

@Jason - AWESOME calling out the suspension of disbelief point.

Jun 27 - 09:18 PM

gridlock'd2

First Last

In a movie, the audience will suspend their disbelief once, not twice. He can't get superpowers AND make superpowers. It's gotta be one or the other.

Jun 28 - 06:26 AM

Noah James

Noah Kinsey

Grid - I think we are going to just have to agree to disagree about the web-slingers. I completely respect your posts in other columns, so I'm not going to try and act like you don't have a good head on your shoulders. I stand by my statement that if they added the homemade web-slingers and people couldn't relate to his character - that would be the fault of the writers and the filmmakers. I WILL say that I don't know where you got your suspension of disbelief calculator, but people will suspend for MANY more times than just ONE per movie. Take the Fast Five - critics LOVED that pile of...I mean "movie" - yet I had to reset my suspension meter about 10 times. Had critics/audiences had to reset it like I did, it wouldn't have been the success (commercially and critically) that it was.

Jun 28 - 06:04 PM

gridlock'd2

First Last

It just seems a bit much to suddenly gain superpowers and then go home and make more superpowers. Why stop there? Why not make a jetpack? And X-Ray vision googles? And maybe a thing that shoot missles? Surely those things could also help in the fight against crime. How come he never invented anything else in the past forty years? Marvel created Spider Man as a contrast to the less-relatable DC characters. (Superman is an invincible alien. Batman is a millionaire) Peter is supposed to be a normal kid that the audience could relate to. Yes, he's bright but it would take a super genius to invent working web shooters and a super adhesive the likes of which will STILL have yet to see, in his bedroom with no access to materials. He's supposed to be an intelligent but otherwise normal kid from Queens, not A Beautiful Mind. I'm not sure I would buy it from a teenage Tony Stark. (But at least he was rich and had a father in the business) Imagine in a movie we just watched him gain super powers from the super-spider bite, now we have to watch him go home and make more super-powers? Why? Because the first set of powers isn't good enough? Because he now has a spider motiff to live up to? How many origins does one hero need? I'm sorry, I just think it would be silly. Trust me, I never had a problem with web shooters until I saw the movie and realized just attributing web powers to the spider bite makes a lot more sense and it's certainly more economical in terms of storytelling. But hey, we'll find out soon enough when Spider Man gets the reboot. Should be interesting. Personally I have a bad feeling, but we'll see. I look forward to continuing this debate then.

Jun 28 - 07:14 PM

Harry LaBeef

harry brown

@ Noah James & gridlock'd
I don't read the comics but I think you're both wrong. From what I've been told, Spider-man's web was created by his father. Why? I don't know. It seems Peter got the idea he could use this substance in crime fighting and made web shooters for it.

Apparently Raimi had no interest in the backstory of Peter's parents, so he cut the BS and gave him organic shooters.

Jul 23 - 03:44 PM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

its a silly comic book . . . or is it?////people are TOTALLY deep into Spiderman. Even expressing the notion of Spiderman being a silly comic book will cause feelings of offense.

Jun 28 - 10:37 AM

Manuel G.

Manuel Granados

It's like that time I told someone the Bible was a silly comic book and Jesus din't make a believable superhero. Man, did they get mad.

Jun 28 - 10:48 AM

Alan Smithee

Alan Smithee

The power of resurrection would certainly be useful when combating demonic hordes from the pits of hell. Walking on water on the other hand ... Now that's just silly.

Jun 28 - 02:00 PM

Manuel G.

Manuel Granados

Unless he's fighting vampires, they can't cross running water, so he'd be screwing them up big time. And he would certainly have some awesome parties with his water to wine abbilities.

Jun 28 - 03:00 PM

Merlin235

Merlin Ambrosius

Did it make you feel like a big man, to make fun of religious people?

Jun 28 - 10:43 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

Good movie, holds up relatively well to time, and when it came out it was before the superhero movie outline had been cemented and you could predict every single thing that was going to happen.

And Luke, The Amazing Spiderman is not going to be taking place in high school. Ironically, they decided to reboot the series to appeal to younger viewers, but after casting Garfield who is almost 30, they changed the setting to college because of his age.

Jun 27 - 07:25 PM

Murdoch

Murdoch +

first of all: if they had decided to make spidey shoot webs out of his ass, then this would've been the single greatest comic book movie ever. Seriously, way better then dark knight, cause even when you tried to analyze its plot, you'd just end up going "HOLY SHIT. . .toby maguire's swinging on a rope with his ass. . . . This movie is fucking AWESOME!". . . . . Secondly: the whole "genius inventor even before he was a hero" thing is just a plot device for when there's no explanation for how something came into being. . . . Case in point: michael keaton putting the batmobile back together after escaping the police in batman returns. . . . .by himself. . . .in the dark.

Jun 27 - 07:42 PM

Manuel G.

Manuel Granados

Bruce Wayne is one of the smartest men in the DC universe. If he couldn't fix his own car he wouldn't be much of a Batman would he? And it'd look so dumb that he was all "uhhh the car broke down, let me get my batphone and call Alfred to bring a batowing truck". Now I can picture that in the Adam West one but not afterwards.

Jun 27 - 09:00 PM

Noah James

Noah Kinsey

I agree. In order to keep his identity safe, Bruce would have to know how all of his devices worked. Can't exactly ring up AAA if the Batmobile breaks down.

Jun 27 - 09:17 PM

Murdoch

Murdoch +

You missed my point . . . . .its not just the entire batmobile that keaton's batman can design, construct, take apart and put back together at will like it was made from legos . . . . Its that intelligence used to mean something in comics & movies, like when it helped in finding the criminal . . . .now its a deus ex machina. . . . Batman can make a batmobile, batwing and batboat all by himself. . . . . Lex makes traps that superman constantly falls for despite all his super-senses. . . . . . Tony stark can make a minature nuclear reactor with spare parts from weapons . . . . Ozymandian knows how to fool dr manhattan even though the guy can see into the future. . . . All this is possible because . . . . . . say it with me now. . . . . They're the smartest men in the universe. . . . . Or: a writer's attempt to move the story forward by blaming it on "the resident genius"

Jun 27 - 09:29 PM

Justin D.

Justin D.

@ rzzyh - I agree. It's just a writer's device to explain something that, if held under close scrutiny, would make no sense. If Peter were smart enough to make such a remarkable substance in his own bedroom in Queens, w/ no high tech lab equipment, I wouldn't try to show great responsibility by being a super hero; I'd patent the stuff and make millions, then give generously to charity and to the community. Like you said, it's a simple case of deus ex machina.

Jun 27 - 10:39 PM

Matanuki

Matanuki .

Lazy writing is standard in Hollywood.

Jun 28 - 01:49 AM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

I do like when Spiderman joined The Avengers in the comic book and Spidergirl and Hawkeye are talking about him. Spiderwoman whispers to him. "I think Spiderman is like one of those super-genius sciencey guys." and Hawkeye's like "Really" and they both look at him and he's dangling upside down cramming a half-eaten ham sandwich in his mouth. Comedy gold. They need more of that in Spider-Man these days.

Jun 28 - 05:13 AM

Manuel G.

Manuel Granados

Actually Justin, Spider-man tries to make money out of his newfound powers at the start. He tries to become a celebrity (in the movie they did the wrestling thing) and that neglect of his powers for good is what gets his uncle killed. That's why he doesn't go out and make millions and donates them to charity, he feels responsible that if he hadn't been such a brat and concerned about himself only then his uncle wouldn't have died.

Jun 28 - 01:06 PM

Murdoch

Murdoch +

@Manuel g: this is gonna sound really mean ( and I apologize in advance) but exactly how old are you?. . . . I'm asking because you genuinely seem incapable of grasping the finer elements of what justin and I seem to be saying. . . .earlier, I was trying to point out that too often comic and film writers use a character's sharp mind as the reason seemingly impossible technological feats can be accomplished. . . . Your response: smarts are how non-powered heroes make their mark in a super powered tale. . . . Right, and water quenches your thirst. . . . . Next, when justin presents a theory that if the "smart" heroes are really walking human computers, why not rely on their vastly superior brains rather than their not so great physical abilities. . . . . Your response: wait, but peter did try to make money off his skills and then he learned his lesson and then he became a hero and. . . . . Yawn. . . . For someone who likes to reply a lot, you don't seem to be able to infer what is being said, and then you provide some unbelievably obvious observation and try to pass it off as analysis. . . . . .hence the question: exactly how old does somebody have to be to consider what you keep writing as 1) relevant to the conversation and 2) anywhere in the vacinity of meaningful analysis?

Jun 28 - 03:42 PM

Manuel G.

Manuel Granados

Fair. First I guess I have to explain why my answers. To your first reply, I never denied that it is a plot commonly used by comic book writers back in the day to explain whatever couldn't be explained, but everything in origin stories can be called DEM (a seemingly inextricable problem is suddenly and abruptly solved with the contrived and unexpected intervention of some new event, character, ability, or object). The thing is that in both that I replied to, you guys are using real world logic to explain, not only comic books, but movies based on comic books, situations that make no sense. Now, if you ask me, that is never going to work out because then nothing makes sense, why don't people you know...just shoot them in the head? That'd end the story quite quickly. We are suspending disbelief by simply opening the comic book or entering the movie theater, so the smartest man on the planet, even though it is easily the second most used solution to problems in comic books, is something we have to simply accept. Yes, I never said it wasn't overused to explain whatever, but trying to mash it in with cold hard logic then nothing in the comic books would make sense. In response to Justin's "I would make a patent, become filthy rich, not bother using my superpowers and donate to charity" I replied that Spider-man had already tried it. Using superhero and comic book logic: why do we look up to Spider-man as a hero and not the million of inventors in history? Because he didn't make a patent, he's different from us not only because of his powers, because of his moral code. Why you and I seem to not be getting one another is because you are trying to adapt something out of fantasy to real life every day logic and I chose to suspend disbelief. But if I move into everyday ocurrences: then yeah, nothing that happens in this is plausible and 90% is actually laughable and absolutely ridiculous, the fact that he can swing from building to building at the speed he is doing it and then suddenly and abruptly lands on a paved street, on his feet, on a full stop, shouldn't his legs break or his spine snap? But then, where's the fun? As for relevancy to the conversation: is it really relevant that Batman shouldn't be able to put together the batmobile alone in the dark and instead he should take a cab or walk back? How and in which conversation is that relevant?

Jun 28 - 04:30 PM

Justin D.

Justin D.

@ Manuel - The thing about a movie or even a comic book is that the logic still has to use a level of realistic logic. You missed the point of what I was saying w/ my response. He tried to become a celebrity out of personal gain, to buy a car to impress a girl. I'm saying that he use his miracle substance to get rich, not for celebrity, but for the benefit of mankind. His web fluid could be used in medicine, or for construction projects, or to help police subdue suspects. On top of making a bundle off of this stuff to help people he donate a portion of his earnings to various charities and to help build up his community. At this point if he wanted to become super hero it would be just for the hell of it but he would definitely not need to do so. Nowhere did I say he should patent it just for the sake of making money.

But all of that is moot when it comes down to the main point rzzyh and I are making. The point is that when a writer can't come up w/ a logical explanation as to how a character w/ no high tech lab equipment, training, or the like invents a super durable, spider-like substance in the comfort of his own Queens bedroom, they simply use the response, "he's a super genius." This is what's known as deus ex machina.

Jun 28 - 09:52 PM

Manuel G.

Manuel Granados

But if you guys see my answers nowhere have I said that it is not a DEM, comics are full of them in the origin stories. What I am rebating is that this doesn't make them less enjoyable or makes us relate to them any less. I just pointed out that it is a common pattern that those with rather crappy or no superpowers usually have genius like intelligence. I don't know why my answer was taken as a "I think you are wrong". But if the purpose was for people to say "yes" then I guess we have been doing it all wrong. So...yes, the DEM is pretty damn common in comic books and movies, we still read em/watch em regardless of that. We came to this point, we are both right, we agree we are, so how was your day?

Jun 28 - 10:13 PM

Manuel G.

Manuel Granados

I see where you are going. But these men were created 60+ years ago for the most part, 30 on the youngest ones. Sure, on paper Spiderman's powers sound good but if he wasn't super smart he'd easily get squashed like you know, a real spider. Batman was the common man's response to Superman's all mighty personna. He had to have something Supes didn't have, therefore, he's a genius. See the pattern, all those with rather crappy powers, except for Xavier, are pretty damn smart. Why? To have somethig to make them super, otherwise they'd be just a notch ahead of normal people. And when you have normal people wearing suits...well they are just Kick-Ass, and while he's ok, I am betting that any of Spiderman's villains could dispose of his average self in about 2 hits. It is a deus ex machina plot device for sure, but EVERYTHING in comic books can be attributed to a deus ex machina, it's not like the origin stories are not completely believable.

Jun 27 - 09:42 PM

Frisby2007

Frisby 2007

I've always hated the hero Spiderman, but the Spiderman movies, especially this one, are one of the best Marvel movies out there. The first is still my favorite one out of the three(the actors in the second one looked like they were stressed out).

Jun 27 - 07:51 PM

Dustin P.

Dustin Philipson

Great film for sure. Thinking back to the first time I saw it I remember the colors. They popped! It really was the comic come to life (without having to resort to the somewhat cliche trope of 'living panels' ala 'Creepshow' or Ang Lee's 'Hulk').

Just 2 random thoughts: Does any body remember Ebert panning this film? I remember the 'Ebert and Roeper' episode where they reviewed the film. Ebert went into this bizarre explanation about how the physics of Spiderman's movements were off so the film didn't work for him (and he started doing that signature Ebert hand gesture where he would put his two hands out in front of himself, flat, palms down making a sort of seesawing motion while trying to explain the faulty physics). And I'll never forget Roeper's response. He just gave Roger that tense, awkward smile (the indicator that he REALLY disagreed with Roger) and said something along the lines of "What are you even talking about?! Its a fun super hero movie. Quit over thinking and enjoy it for the fun ride it is!" which kinda shut Ebert up. To this day I think Ebert's glowing review for the admittedly well deserving of praise Spiderman 2 was to make up somewhat for his bashing of the first film.

2nd: I agree with the complaint of GG looking cheesy. But my cousin always had a cool idea that seemed like it should have been obvious to the screen writers. There is a scene where Dafoe's Osmand is looking, bewitched, at his collection of creepy jungle/voodoo masks (a telling part of the movie that, if memory serves me, starts to hint at his loss of a grip on sanity). My cousin suggested that they should have had the Goblin wear one of those masks; one that could have been especially designed by the film's make/costume department to resemble his grotesque mask from the comic, but retaining that hand made sinister voodoo mask vibe. This creepy handcrafted mask, contrasted with the high-tech robo suit, I think, would have made for a more sinister looking GG.

Jun 27 - 08:10 PM

misterkyle1901

kyle T

I remember the Ebert thing. He didn't pan the film, he gave it 2 1/2 stars (he gave the second one 4 stars). His point is actually sort of valid (but he shouldn't have allowed it to ruin the film for himself)--the CGI seems weightless. Too him, the action turned to a cartoon every time Spidey began swinging (whic, it did). The filmmakers actually address this in the second movie, fixing the issue of weightlessness. It is actually an issue that appears in many films, and nowadays it seems just plain lazy. Its sort of a problem that you don't quite commit to memory, but generally it makes you dislike the CGI in a film (for those who had issues with the CGI in the Green Lantern trailers, this was part of the problem). Just take a look at the "werewolves" in the twilight movies--they're light as feathers.

Jun 27 - 11:18 PM

Noah James

Noah Kinsey

In the Twilight series' trailers, the werewolves don't look CGI. If I had to describe the tech used to create them, I would say they look closer to Flash animation ;-)

Jun 28 - 12:28 AM

gridlock'd2

First Last

Worse, he late gave Daredevil thumbs up.

Jun 28 - 06:27 AM

quietus28

jj l

I agree with Ebert's review, and thought he was generous giving this movie 2.5 stars. McGuire and Defoe are great as Parker and Osborne, respectively, but Spider-Man and Green Goblin were incredibly boring and uninteresting characters, not to mention the weak special effects and equally boring, uninteresting action sequences. Spider-Man 2 rectified those problems and seemed to set the series straight, until #3 came out and suggested that #2 was more likely a fluke than anything.

Jun 30 - 09:49 AM

Phillip K.

Phillip Kissell

I really do love this film, but I do agree about the GG, mostly because his costume could have been SO MUCH BETTER than the Power Ranger style they had.

Jun 27 - 08:12 PM

manwithoutfear19

Daniel Raimondi

the best marvel movies are
Iron man 1 and 2
Spidey 1 and 2
and Thor

Jun 27 - 08:29 PM

Manuel G.

Manuel Granados

I am not a Spiderman fan, was for a while, but it did bother me too that he threw the spiderwebs rather than make them. Plus, it made him kind of icky, too much like a spider. And he is a genius, not in Iron Man's or Reed Richards' league but a genius and here he just comes off as nerdy.

The one thing I missed in the whole trilogy is the snarky spidey, Tobey just can't pull off being sarcastic, not that the writers even tried, but Spiderman has a very unique sense of humor, not as deranged as Deadpool, but his one liners in the comics were awesome. And in the movies they were just gone, they got replaced with romantic mushy mopey stuff, which is my biggest gripe with the second one, because in the first he's still growing some confidence.

Jun 27 - 08:56 PM

Noah James

Noah Kinsey

I would agree with you for the most part. Peter was closer to Reeds in smarts, but smarter than Stark.

Jun 27 - 09:20 PM

gridlock'd2

First Last

It was more important to make Peter an everyman than a super-genius. Him making web-slingers from scraps in his bedroom in Queens as a high school student goes beyond bright. That's freakish super-intelligence. People can no longer relate to him.

Plus, here's a kid who was just granted superpowers. Oh but that's not enough for him, so he makes himself some more powers. If you woke up tomorrow and could scale walls, would you immediately start working on a jetpack? It's like if Superman created an invisibility potion.

Jun 27 - 10:09 PM

Manuel G.

Manuel Granados

I guess you do have a point gridlock'd, there wasn't enough time in the movie to make you relate to spidey the way the comics did over 40 years. But the fact that he mutates to the point that he produces his own webbing...I don't know, just made me think of that spiderman clone or whatever it is that actually has 6 arms and 2 legs and a spider mouth. Less of an average guy with superpowers and more of a freak of nature. Ok maybe not average guy cause he's freakishly smart, but you get my point. "Oh yeah MJ, I am now technically a spider, but I look human, and if in need I can make you a dress, wanna make out?" "Fuck you weirdo" would certainly be what would happen.

Jun 27 - 11:22 PM

Noah James

Noah Kinsey

grid- I completely disagree. Had they gone the original way and viewers weren't able to relate to Peter, that would be the filmmakers' fault - not the source material. Readers had NO problem identifying with his angst back when the comics came out.

Jun 28 - 12:25 AM

Manuel G.

Manuel Granados

Bruce Wayne is one of the smartest men in the DC universe. If he couldn't fix his own car he wouldn't be much of a Batman would he? And it'd look so dumb that he was all "uhhh the car broke down, let me get my batphone and call Alfred to bring a batowing truck". Now I can picture that in the Adam West one but not afterwards.

Jun 27 - 09:00 PM

Noah James

Noah Kinsey

I agree. In order to keep his identity safe, Bruce would have to know how all of his devices worked. Can't exactly ring up AAA if the Batmobile breaks down.

Jun 27 - 09:17 PM

Murdoch

Murdoch +

You missed my point . . . . .its not just the entire batmobile that keaton's batman can design, construct, take apart and put back together at will like it was made from legos . . . . Its that intelligence used to mean something in comics & movies, like when it helped in finding the criminal . . . .now its a deus ex machina. . . . Batman can make a batmobile, batwing and batboat all by himself. . . . . Lex makes traps that superman constantly falls for despite all his super-senses. . . . . . Tony stark can make a minature nuclear reactor with spare parts from weapons . . . . Ozymandian knows how to fool dr manhattan even though the guy can see into the future. . . . All this is possible because . . . . . . say it with me now. . . . . They're the smartest men in the universe. . . . . Or: a writer's attempt to move the story forward by blaming it on "the resident genius"

Jun 27 - 09:29 PM

Justin D.

Justin D.

@ rzzyh - I agree. It's just a writer's device to explain something that, if held under close scrutiny, would make no sense. If Peter were smart enough to make such a remarkable substance in his own bedroom in Queens, w/ no high tech lab equipment, I wouldn't try to show great responsibility by being a super hero; I'd patent the stuff and make millions, then give generously to charity and to the community. Like you said, it's a simple case of deus ex machina.

Jun 27 - 10:39 PM

Matanuki

Matanuki .

Lazy writing is standard in Hollywood.

Jun 28 - 01:49 AM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

I do like when Spiderman joined The Avengers in the comic book and Spidergirl and Hawkeye are talking about him. Spiderwoman whispers to him. "I think Spiderman is like one of those super-genius sciencey guys." and Hawkeye's like "Really" and they both look at him and he's dangling upside down cramming a half-eaten ham sandwich in his mouth. Comedy gold. They need more of that in Spider-Man these days.

Jun 28 - 05:13 AM

Manuel G.

Manuel Granados

Actually Justin, Spider-man tries to make money out of his newfound powers at the start. He tries to become a celebrity (in the movie they did the wrestling thing) and that neglect of his powers for good is what gets his uncle killed. That's why he doesn't go out and make millions and donates them to charity, he feels responsible that if he hadn't been such a brat and concerned about himself only then his uncle wouldn't have died.

Jun 28 - 01:06 PM

Murdoch

Murdoch +

@Manuel g: this is gonna sound really mean ( and I apologize in advance) but exactly how old are you?. . . . I'm asking because you genuinely seem incapable of grasping the finer elements of what justin and I seem to be saying. . . .earlier, I was trying to point out that too often comic and film writers use a character's sharp mind as the reason seemingly impossible technological feats can be accomplished. . . . Your response: smarts are how non-powered heroes make their mark in a super powered tale. . . . Right, and water quenches your thirst. . . . . Next, when justin presents a theory that if the "smart" heroes are really walking human computers, why not rely on their vastly superior brains rather than their not so great physical abilities. . . . . Your response: wait, but peter did try to make money off his skills and then he learned his lesson and then he became a hero and. . . . . Yawn. . . . For someone who likes to reply a lot, you don't seem to be able to infer what is being said, and then you provide some unbelievably obvious observation and try to pass it off as analysis. . . . . .hence the question: exactly how old does somebody have to be to consider what you keep writing as 1) relevant to the conversation and 2) anywhere in the vacinity of meaningful analysis?

Jun 28 - 03:42 PM

Manuel G.

Manuel Granados

Fair. First I guess I have to explain why my answers. To your first reply, I never denied that it is a plot commonly used by comic book writers back in the day to explain whatever couldn't be explained, but everything in origin stories can be called DEM (a seemingly inextricable problem is suddenly and abruptly solved with the contrived and unexpected intervention of some new event, character, ability, or object). The thing is that in both that I replied to, you guys are using real world logic to explain, not only comic books, but movies based on comic books, situations that make no sense. Now, if you ask me, that is never going to work out because then nothing makes sense, why don't people you know...just shoot them in the head? That'd end the story quite quickly. We are suspending disbelief by simply opening the comic book or entering the movie theater, so the smartest man on the planet, even though it is easily the second most used solution to problems in comic books, is something we have to simply accept. Yes, I never said it wasn't overused to explain whatever, but trying to mash it in with cold hard logic then nothing in the comic books would make sense. In response to Justin's "I would make a patent, become filthy rich, not bother using my superpowers and donate to charity" I replied that Spider-man had already tried it. Using superhero and comic book logic: why do we look up to Spider-man as a hero and not the million of inventors in history? Because he didn't make a patent, he's different from us not only because of his powers, because of his moral code. Why you and I seem to not be getting one another is because you are trying to adapt something out of fantasy to real life every day logic and I chose to suspend disbelief. But if I move into everyday ocurrences: then yeah, nothing that happens in this is plausible and 90% is actually laughable and absolutely ridiculous, the fact that he can swing from building to building at the speed he is doing it and then suddenly and abruptly lands on a paved street, on his feet, on a full stop, shouldn't his legs break or his spine snap? But then, where's the fun? As for relevancy to the conversation: is it really relevant that Batman shouldn't be able to put together the batmobile alone in the dark and instead he should take a cab or walk back? How and in which conversation is that relevant?

Jun 28 - 04:30 PM

Justin D.

Justin D.

@ Manuel - The thing about a movie or even a comic book is that the logic still has to use a level of realistic logic. You missed the point of what I was saying w/ my response. He tried to become a celebrity out of personal gain, to buy a car to impress a girl. I'm saying that he use his miracle substance to get rich, not for celebrity, but for the benefit of mankind. His web fluid could be used in medicine, or for construction projects, or to help police subdue suspects. On top of making a bundle off of this stuff to help people he donate a portion of his earnings to various charities and to help build up his community. At this point if he wanted to become super hero it would be just for the hell of it but he would definitely not need to do so. Nowhere did I say he should patent it just for the sake of making money.

But all of that is moot when it comes down to the main point rzzyh and I are making. The point is that when a writer can't come up w/ a logical explanation as to how a character w/ no high tech lab equipment, training, or the like invents a super durable, spider-like substance in the comfort of his own Queens bedroom, they simply use the response, "he's a super genius." This is what's known as deus ex machina.

Jun 28 - 09:52 PM

Manuel G.

Manuel Granados

But if you guys see my answers nowhere have I said that it is not a DEM, comics are full of them in the origin stories. What I am rebating is that this doesn't make them less enjoyable or makes us relate to them any less. I just pointed out that it is a common pattern that those with rather crappy or no superpowers usually have genius like intelligence. I don't know why my answer was taken as a "I think you are wrong". But if the purpose was for people to say "yes" then I guess we have been doing it all wrong. So...yes, the DEM is pretty damn common in comic books and movies, we still read em/watch em regardless of that. We came to this point, we are both right, we agree we are, so how was your day?

Jun 28 - 10:13 PM

Noah James

Noah Kinsey

I agree. In order to keep his identity safe, Bruce would have to know how all of his devices worked. Can't exactly ring up AAA if the Batmobile breaks down.

Jun 27 - 09:17 PM

Noah James

Noah Kinsey

@Jason - AWESOME calling out the suspension of disbelief point.

Jun 27 - 09:18 PM

Noah James

Noah Kinsey

I would agree with you for the most part. Peter was closer to Reeds in smarts, but smarter than Stark.

Jun 27 - 09:20 PM

gridlock'd2

First Last

It was more important to make Peter an everyman than a super-genius. Him making web-slingers from scraps in his bedroom in Queens as a high school student goes beyond bright. That's freakish super-intelligence. People can no longer relate to him.

Plus, here's a kid who was just granted superpowers. Oh but that's not enough for him, so he makes himself some more powers. If you woke up tomorrow and could scale walls, would you immediately start working on a jetpack? It's like if Superman created an invisibility potion.

Jun 27 - 10:09 PM

Manuel G.

Manuel Granados

I guess you do have a point gridlock'd, there wasn't enough time in the movie to make you relate to spidey the way the comics did over 40 years. But the fact that he mutates to the point that he produces his own webbing...I don't know, just made me think of that spiderman clone or whatever it is that actually has 6 arms and 2 legs and a spider mouth. Less of an average guy with superpowers and more of a freak of nature. Ok maybe not average guy cause he's freakishly smart, but you get my point. "Oh yeah MJ, I am now technically a spider, but I look human, and if in need I can make you a dress, wanna make out?" "Fuck you weirdo" would certainly be what would happen.

Jun 27 - 11:22 PM

Noah James

Noah Kinsey

grid- I completely disagree. Had they gone the original way and viewers weren't able to relate to Peter, that would be the filmmakers' fault - not the source material. Readers had NO problem identifying with his angst back when the comics came out.

Jun 28 - 12:25 AM

Murdoch

Murdoch +

You missed my point . . . . .its not just the entire batmobile that keaton's batman can design, construct, take apart and put back together at will like it was made from legos . . . . Its that intelligence used to mean something in comics & movies, like when it helped in finding the criminal . . . .now its a deus ex machina. . . . Batman can make a batmobile, batwing and batboat all by himself. . . . . Lex makes traps that superman constantly falls for despite all his super-senses. . . . . . Tony stark can make a minature nuclear reactor with spare parts from weapons . . . . Ozymandian knows how to fool dr manhattan even though the guy can see into the future. . . . All this is possible because . . . . . . say it with me now. . . . . They're the smartest men in the universe. . . . . Or: a writer's attempt to move the story forward by blaming it on "the resident genius"

Jun 27 - 09:29 PM

Manuel G.

Manuel Granados

I see where you are going. But these men were created 60+ years ago for the most part, 30 on the youngest ones. Sure, on paper Spiderman's powers sound good but if he wasn't super smart he'd easily get squashed like you know, a real spider. Batman was the common man's response to Superman's all mighty personna. He had to have something Supes didn't have, therefore, he's a genius. See the pattern, all those with rather crappy powers, except for Xavier, are pretty damn smart. Why? To have somethig to make them super, otherwise they'd be just a notch ahead of normal people. And when you have normal people wearing suits...well they are just Kick-Ass, and while he's ok, I am betting that any of Spiderman's villains could dispose of his average self in about 2 hits. It is a deus ex machina plot device for sure, but EVERYTHING in comic books can be attributed to a deus ex machina, it's not like the origin stories are not completely believable.

Jun 27 - 09:42 PM

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