Thursday, May 10, 2007

Spiderman 3

Owing to the vagaries of time, graduate school, and my general laziness, I hadn’t been to a movie theatre since my last true vacation, around 3 years ago. A couple of weeks ago, Madeleine and I decided we should go see “Grindhouse” or “Hot Fuzz” – we’re both huge Tarantino fans, and we also loved “Shaun of the Dead.” Last Friday we finally got around to making time to go to the theatre. Alas, “Grindhouse” was already out of circulation, and Madeleine declared that she wasn’t in the right mood (???) to see “Hot Fuzz,” so we settled on “Spiderman 3” instead. We met Pauline for dinner, then proceeded to the theatre for the 23:45 showing. After Pauline and Madeleine argued about where to sit for what seemed like an eternity, we were treated to an obnoxious slew of lame trivia questions, insufferably idiotic short films and, in the clearest sign yet that the Apocalypse is finally upon us, at least a dozen commercials. The result? The movie started over 20 minutes late, already putting me in a crummy mood.

Sadly, the film itself did nothing to dispel my annoyance, but rather aggravated it. My only consolation, however poor, is that I was not alone in my misery. Approximately 5 minutes into the movie, Madeleine uttered the first of many nasty comments. If I recall correctly, it went something like this: “This movie sucks!” About a minute later, I made the first of many MST3K-style comments, most of which were at Aunt May’s expense – more on this later. Not to be outdone, Pauline offered the first of many “we should walk out of the theatre” comments some 15 seconds later. For whatever reason, we ended up sitting through the entire movie – nearly two and a half hours of torment.

Before I shred “Spidey 3,” know that I’m fully aware that the movie is based on comic-book characters. As such, I didn’t go into the theatre expecting to see a film that would depict the darkness within the human heart in a masterful enough way to rival “Rashomon”… but even “Pokémon” was more coherent and engaging than “Spidey 3.” I don’t mind archetypal superhero stories, as long as they’re set up and executed properly. This was certainly not the case with “Spidey 3,” which was so haphazard and discombobulated that the only enjoyment I derived from watching it was strictly a byproduct of its unremitting cheesiness. It’s difficult to understand how the same guy who wrote and directed stark, gripping, action-driven jewels like “The Evil Dead” and “Darkman” could have churned out such an uninspired, hackneyed piece of cinematic excrement. And so, without further ado…

Ten Things I Learned While Watching “Spiderman 3:”

  • If the protagonist’s main rival is pathetically unimposing, it’s always a good idea to introduce an even less intimidating second rival into the mix.
  • If the protagonist’s two main rivals are about as threatening as the Bolivian navy, it’s an equally great idea to introduce a third rival made of sand who will not only be easily entrained by water and wind, but will ultimately become the most sympathetic character in the film. (Yes; a bad guy made of sand is the most appealing character in this loathsome movie.)
  • When faced with a snobby French maître d’ who demands that you speak French, just say “Oui” while nodding like a hyperactive chimpanzee. This will not only disarm the maître d’, but compel him to become your unconditional ally for the evening.
  • The painting of Willem Dafoe hanging in the Osborne library was the best actor in the movie.
  • On their worst day, Tobey Maguire, James Franco, and even Kirsten “Butterface” Dunst have more acting talent than the hack who played Venom. I wish he’d ingested some venom during filming so they could have hired a replacement – even a drunken derelict would have been a huge upgrade.
  • Aunt May should change her name to Aunt Gay. A few samples of her wisdom:
    “Revenge can poison your heart and turn it into something ugly.”
    “I’m sure you’ll look within yourself and do the right thing.”
    “I know you’ll find a way to make it right.”
    “Take my wedding ring and use it to make Mary Jane yours.”
    “I’m so full of shit I need a 25-gallon barium enema.”
    (All right, I made that last one up.)
  • When trying to seduce your enemy’s girlfriend, grin like a demented hyena, do a ridiculously inept version of the twist, and clumsily break an omelette while trying to flip it.
  • When trying to get revenge on the girlfriend who went back to the rival that she had once dumped for you, stop washing your hair for three weeks, wear ill-fitting black clothes, slap on some eyeliner, snap your fingers like a crazy homeless person while walking down the street, and make an anorexic Russian girl bring you cookies.
  • Radioactive spider bites give you superpowers AND turn you into Scott Joplin, as witnessed by Spidey’s unfathomable foray into jazz musicianship.
  • If the movie is careening so far out of control that the viewers are forming a plot on the cast and crew’s lives, appeal to mass “patriotism.” (This one made both Madeleine and Pauline scream out in frustration, and was by far my favourite moment of the entire week.)

Once the movie was mercifully over, we staggered out of the theatre in disbelief. Madeleine summed up the experience with biting succinctness when she hissed: “I can’t believe I paid seven bucks for this. It’s like they squeezed every single cliché into one movie!” As for me, I can’t believe my first movie theatre experience in 3 years consisted of this steaming nugget of shite. The moral: never let a woman make the decisions.


Mado said...

Oh my god ! I cannot believe that you did that ! You've open a freaking blog !! :) hehehehe

No I have to read your post ...

Mado said...

Jesus Christ ... The wait was worthy, I've almost passed out laughing while I was reading !!Thank you so much !!

Bitter Clevelander said...

Went to see "Disturbia" last night. It's basically a teen-oriented but very nicely done update of Hitchcock's "Rear Window" -- from now on, I'M picking the movies!