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  1. #31
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    For me, Tobey Maguire from spiderman 1 and 2 was the best peter parker. He really nailed that role. Tom Holland and Andrew Garfield on the other hand are great spiderman actors in their own movies. It was much more fluid and free compared to Toby Maguire's spiderman....but it could be because of technology at that time.

  2. #32
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    Well I just saw Venom for the first time and god its awful. You can see Tom Hardys expression in it and you know internally he's simply going think of the paycheck think of the paycheck

    But what's really tragic is that for casting he is a perfect Eddie Brock and in a real Spiderman movie with a decent script he'd be awesome

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    I actually think most of the performances in Raimi's movies are expressive. Because again the style of the movie is trying to synch up the 90s with the 50s and 60s in a kind of melange. Sam Raimi's Spider-Man movies aren't really trying to be completely realistic...like a lot of Raimi movies it's a little classical, i.e. 50s and 60s Hollywood where the acting style was more personality than technical range. So the actors are cast for emotional resonance. Like it matters that Tobey is laidback and earnest in his speech and behavior on screen, that Kirsten Dunst's Mary Jane brings emotional warmth and radiance in any moment she's on-screen, that Willem Dafoe always makes us uneasy when we see him (which you know given that he's Dafoe, isn't that hard).



    Well I had experience being bullied growing up, within my family and outside, and it did make me a shut-in and a little repressed for the longest time (the reason I respond in lengthy messages with facts is that I am used to people picking apart stuff I say, so I always take the extra room to back up what I say), I felt Maguire's Peter spoke to that experience. But in any case, Raimi's Spider-Man, and for that matter, Spider-Man the character is not meant to be a completely accurate or realistic look at the psychology of bullying, ultimately the larger importance is to convey a story of an ordinary decent man giving extraordinary powers and duties at a young age, and Maguire as an actor was able to project those qualities, which ultimately Garfield and Holland haven't done so yet, in my view.



    It was implied that he bullied Peter pretty badly, including physically, before the Spider-Bite and a lot of comics showing the early days did hint that. Like his obsession with picking on Peter in the early Lee-Ditko issues and Peter briefly contemplating Doctor Doom killing him, doesn't make sense (on his part and Peter) if it was simply mild insults. Again, the comics are ultimately about Peter growing up so the stuff about how badly Flash bullied Peter is backstory and there for you to infer but I think it was pretty bad. I think some writers downplay it on account of Flash becoming a nicer person and standup guy later on but it had to have been bad enough for that change to be that dramatic.



    Tobey's Peter didn't overact either. He mostly bottles up and doesn't say anything. The one time in Spider-Man 1 and 2 that he explodes is at Uncle Ben right before he goes wrestling. Otherwise, he's really low key.

    I think fundamentally this is generational more than anything. When I saw Tobey's Peter in 2002, I felt it was a restrained and nuanced performance and for me Garfield is too intense and needy as an actor while Tom Holland is just bland.

    Nothing against them as performers (though I have serious doubts about Tom Holland as a leading man, I think he's fundamentally a character actor). Andrew Garfield is a capable actor. I saw him in a movie called Under the Silver Lake over the weekend (a very weird and not very successful movie but worth it if you watch it in the right mood) and Garfield's performance there isn't different from how he played Peter (there's even a shout out to Amazing Spider-Man, with the issue alluding to Conway's first clone saga) only the character he's playing is openly a s--thead as opposed to his Peter being accidental and unintentional one.
    You keep conflating "not a nerd caricature" with "not a nerd", and "not a cartoonish bully" with "not that bad of a bully". Yes, Peter was a nerd and got bullied for it. That doesn't mean that premise can't be executed in a silly way. I am not sure how else to explain the difference.

    Different writers have interpreted Peter's early years differently. If we go back to the Lee/Ditko years, though, Flash was an all-around bully than just a bully who punches and kicks. Sometimes he would physically hurt or intimidate him yes, but other times he would use forms of social bullying to make Peter's life hell (i.e. getting others to laugh at him). Other times he would invite Peter to hang out just to dunk on him (as shown in ASM #2 and #6 - Flash invited Peter to go bowling and to see the Vulture with his friends, but spends the whole time throwing jabs at him). None of this means Flash didn't make school hell for Peter, if anything the Lee/Ditko Flash is even worse than a cartoonish bully who just punches and kicks because he is maladaptive and knows how to torment his victim in multiple ways.

    Even if we assume that Flash never punched and kicked Peter that much (my reading of the Lee/Ditko Peter is that he received most of his punches and kicks prior to getting his powers, after that he was mostly socially bullied), that still wouldn't mean Peter's life wasn't hell. Things like breaking someone's glasses or threatening to beat them up can still cause massive feelings of anxiety and a sense of unsafety to the bullied victim. Also some studies show that verbal bullying can have even worse long-term consequences than just punches and kicks.

    Fair enough that our feelings on Tobey's performance can be generational difference, but I'm kinda skeptic of that premise. I was "there" for the Raimi Spider-Man hype of the time. I probably watched the first Spider-Man more than any other film that was not Lion King or The Incredibles. Yet despite my love for the films, I remember not liking Tobey Maguire even as a kid. I couldn't articulate it as well as I do now, but I remembered thinking he made Peter come off pathetic and like someone you feel sorry for, which I never saw Peter as. IMO Peter was the guy that other people in his world feel sorry for, but that the audience has sympathy for and finds likeable (I should note that likeable isn't the same thing as "cool"). With Tobey it was like I was watching how Flash sees Peter instead of how Peter actually is when viewed from a third party.

    As for Holland, I think he has great acting chops and can potentially be the best Spider-Man (or at least as good as Andrew Garfield) if Marvel would just let him.
    Last edited by Kaitou D. Kid; 07-10-2020 at 09:09 AM.

  4. #34
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaitou D. Kid View Post
    None of this means Flash didn't make school hell for Peter, if anything the Lee/Ditko Flash is even worse than a cartoonish bully who just punches and kicks because he is maladaptive and knows how to torment his victim in multiple ways.
    Agreed.

    Even if we assume that Flash never punched and kicked Peter that much (my reading of the Lee/Ditko Peter is that he received most of his punches and kicks prior to getting his powers, after that he was mostly socially bullied)
    That's correct. Flash bullying Peter stopped being a real issue for Peter after AF#15. Most of the Lee-Ditko run transpires at the Daily Bugle rather than high school and the overall tenor of the Flash-Peter conflict is that Peter's outgrown him and Liz and others, and Flash and Liz slowly realize that and the consequences of that. You see that in #28, where Liz apologizes to Peter during graduation and admits having feelings for him but she let peer pressure kill any chance to act on those feelings (which is one of my favorite understated moments in that run). Likewise, Peter also comes to appreciate Flash's loyalty to Spider-Man in spite of how much the Bugle attacks him.

    Fair enough that our feelings on Tobey's performance can be generational difference, but I'm kinda skeptic of that premise. I was "there" for the Raimi Spider-Man hype of the time.
    Well I didn't know that. I assumed you were younger (i.e. Gen Z) than me. I guess we can chalk it to personal taste and different experiences then. In general Tom Holland, and Garfield to a small extent, is big among Gen Z people for whom Raimi's movies are as old to them as Jurassic Park was to me.

    I couldn't articulate it as well as I do now, but I remembered thinking he made Peter come off pathetic and like someone you feel sorry for, which I never saw Peter as.
    Yeah Sam Raimi did want his Peter Parker to be a little pathetic and a shut-in but a decent common guy at heart. To reiterate what I said, it's not accurate to the comics in that respect, it's an adaptation choice, but given the execution and overall truth to the spirit, I didn't mind.

    As for Holland, I think he has great acting chops and can potentially be the best Spider-Man (or at least as good as Andrew Garfield) if Marvel would just let him.
    I don't know. I've seen Holland in non-Spider-Man movies (like The Lost City of Z) and he's not bad but again those movies generally work because he's not the central lead. In the MCU movies, Holland is always paired and has scenes with older established actors, stars, and supporting actors so he gets outshone all the time in his movies either by RDJ, by the villains, by Jon Favreau and is rarely allowed room for interior development and change. That also extends to Peter having sidekicks to interact with, AI people to banter with. It amounts to producers being reluctant or distrustful of Holland to hold the movie by himself. Ultimately it comes down to casting. If you cast Michael Keaton as the Vulture and a newcomer as Tom Holland as Spider-Man, it's going to be hard to impossible for the audience to accept Spider-Man as a hero of a big size because what the audience sees is Michael Keaton out-acting some young kid who just started out, not Adrian Toomes the Vulture.

    Raimi's Spider-Man worked because he cast Tobey Maguire, an actor who made a name for himself in independent movies against Dafoe, an actor who was also predominantly indie and was largely forgotten after his big push in the late 80s. Kirsten Dunst was a famous child star who was just breaking out as an adult actress, JK Simmons, a character and voice actor who was totally unknown until this movie started his late-blooming career. So you had an equality there in the cast that you don't have later on and that allowed Peter Parker to be a character of a bigger size.

  5. #35
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    He was as nerdy as they get, even when he felt cool. Very much mirrors the comics, in terms of Peter's particular brand of failing. He got the powers, he got the physique, he even got the girl if he wanted. But he is just too damn awkward and nerdy to pull it off ever.

    His friends pity him! Little kids want to be him! His villains all hate him! His aunt loves him and gives him good advice and love rather than larb! He makes dumb mistakes! He cries! He made at least 40 women feel super awkward in a 5 minute dance sequence! He loved his Uncle Ben and actually did go and find the real killer rather than just giving up after five minutes! He doesn't know how to skip a rock and would never throw a football! Iron Man would never train him!

    Give it up for my Peter Parker:

    Last edited by Scott Taylor; 07-10-2020 at 09:55 AM.
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  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Taylor View Post
    He was as nerdy as they get, even when he felt cool. Very much mirrors the comics, in terms of Peter's particular brand of failing. He got the powers, he got the physique, he even got the girl if he wanted. But he is just too damn awkward and nerdy to pull it off ever.
    Tobey's Peter does convey the sense of impostor syndrome that 616 Peter has had since AF#15 and since he graduated high school.

    He loved his Uncle Ben and actually did go and find the real killer rather than just giving up after five minutes!
    Until SM-3 f--ked it all up, but yeah I see your point.

    Iron Man would never train him!
    Tobey Maguire and RDJ actually played lovers in Wonder Boys (which gets a hilarious reference in Tropic Thunder where one of the fake trailers has them play as two gay monks). It would have been pretty weird to see those two on screen as Spider-Man and Iron Man given all that.

    Give it up for my Peter Parker:
    I agree 90% of the post, but not with the Spider-Man 3 revisionism. That movie is still bad.

    I think the trilogy declined a little with each outing, but Spider-Man 1 and Spider-Man 2 make a satisfying two-part story, Spider-Man 3 though is every bit as weak in relation to 1 and 2, as Godfather III is to its predecessors, and far inferior than Return of the Jedi (which wrongly had this reputation, but now happily revised to what it was in year of release as a fitting third part).

  7. #37
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    If it was Stan Lee's work in the Amazing fantasy comics. I would say its Tobey. He is more average looking to Garfield that is very handsome. Holland is too cute with a girlish quality to his look.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    I agree 90% of the post, but not with the Spider-Man 3 revisionism. That movie is still bad.

    I think the trilogy declined a little with each outing, but Spider-Man 1 and Spider-Man 2 make a satisfying two-part story, Spider-Man 3 though is every bit as weak in relation to 1 and 2, as Godfather III is to its predecessors, and far inferior than Return of the Jedi (which wrongly had this reputation, but now happily revised to what it was in year of release as a fitting third part).
    Yes that is fine, I realize that I am in the minority where it comes to SM3. But each time a new Spider-Man movie comes out, that movie just keeps getting better. For me. Same as RotJ keeps looking better all the time, even though I really hated it the first time I saw it.

    One thing I will say about the Holland movies, that I loved (and there was a fair amount to love) - his villains really hated him. They all start out with this mixture of pity and condescension, and it becomes sheer loathing but the end of the movie. Its awesome!
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  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Yeah Sam Raimi did want his Peter Parker to be a little pathetic and a shut-in but a decent common guy at heart. To reiterate what I said, it's not accurate to the comics in that respect, it's an adaptation choice, but given the execution and overall truth to the spirit, I didn't mind.
    I agree. Maguire is more pathetic and has less of a backbone than traditional comic book Peter, but it's a change that works fine for those movies. He still has the likable everyman aspect down pat. My biggest issue with Maguire is that he's a little too reserved as an actor, especially in Spider-Man 2. He's not bad at all, but I think Holland just seems to have more energy and charisma. Not bashing Maguire tho. I still like him a lot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    I don't know. I've seen Holland in non-Spider-Man movies (like The Lost City of Z) and he's not bad but again those movies generally work because he's not the central lead. In the MCU movies, Holland is always paired and has scenes with older established actors, stars, and supporting actors so he gets outshone all the time in his movies either by RDJ, by the villains, by Jon Favreau and is rarely allowed room for interior development and change. That also extends to Peter having sidekicks to interact with, AI people to banter with. It amounts to producers being reluctant or distrustful of Holland to hold the movie by himself. Ultimately it comes down to casting. If you cast Michael Keaton as the Vulture and a newcomer as Tom Holland as Spider-Man, it's going to be hard to impossible for the audience to accept Spider-Man as a hero of a big size because what the audience sees is Michael Keaton out-acting some young kid who just started out, not Adrian Toomes the Vulture.
    I see your point but I disagree. Holland absolutely holds his own in those movies. That scene with Keaton in the car is as gripping as it is because Holland perfectly conveys the complete anxiety Peter is feeling through his facial expressions, and that vulnerability is what makes Keaton so menacing in that scene. Keaton is awesome in that movie and adds a lot of credibility, no question, but I don't think he steals Tom's thunder. Rather, I think they complement each other really well. Ditto for Gyllenhaal, although I might agree a bit more with him stealing the movie.

    There are several scenes where Holland is basically alone and carries the scene all by himself. The ASM 33 homage (which I think demonstrated some excellent acting with the pure, childlike terror Peter shows there), or the scene where he's stuck in the Damage Control warehouse. I think his charm and charisma made that movie as successful with general audiences as it was.

    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Raimi's Spider-Man worked because he cast Tobey Maguire, an actor who made a name for himself in independent movies against Dafoe, an actor who was also predominantly indie and was largely forgotten after his big push in the late 80s. Kirsten Dunst was a famous child star who was just breaking out as an adult actress, JK Simmons, a character and voice actor who was totally unknown until this movie started his late-blooming career. So you had an equality there in the cast that you don't have later on and that allowed Peter Parker to be a character of a bigger size.
    I completely agree on the Raimi trilogy having some fantastic actors in all the supporting roles. I really respect that Raimi casted respected character actors over huge names. Alfred Molina, Willem DaFoe, J.K. Simmons, James Cromwell, these weren't huge stars, but they suited their roles so perfectly. However, I would actually argue that, in my opinion, your statement about Tom Holland applies more to these movies. Tobey is a very capable and likable actor, but I think he's often wallpaper next to Simmons, DaFoe, and the others. He just doesn't have as much dialogue, with his scenes frequently consisting of him just being yelled or monologued at by these guys, and he comes off as a little flat.

    Funny enough, I think Tobey, in a way, is almost at his best in 3. Yes, he makes some odd choices, but you can tell he was having a ball playing the douchier Peter Parker, even before he got that suit. I actually really respect that he was willing to make Peter as unlikable as he did, and I am in the camp of people who doesn't have an issue with those infamous dance scenes . For my money, the Uncle Ben retcon with Sandman and the fact that Peter thinks he killed Sandman (not knowing he survived) and is completely not bothered by this even without the black suit on are the things that make that movie bad. The dancing stuff is actually really fun and I enjoy seeing Tobey get a chance to chew some scenery after two movies of him watching others do it. I just wish those scenes happened earlier in his arc (maybe right after he got the suit and not right before he got rid of it), because Peter dancing around the city after thinking he's murdered someone in cold blood is very tone deaf for me.
    Last edited by Matt Parker; 07-10-2020 at 08:08 PM.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Taylor View Post
    Yes that is fine, I realize that I am in the minority where it comes to SM3. But each time a new Spider-Man movie comes out, that movie just keeps getting better. For me. Same as RotJ keeps looking better all the time, even though I really hated it the first time I saw it.
    Ya'know, Spider-Man 3 has a lot to like. Like I said above, I think Tobey's performance has an energy to it that he was somewhat lacking in the first two movies, and I really like his arc on paper, being a complete flip of Spider-Man 2. 2 starts with him being really sad and feeling weighed down by his responsibilities and his arc allows him to realize that being Spider-Man isn't just important for moral reasons, but he also enjoys doing it and it gives him purpose in life. 3 starts with a completely overconfident Peter who needs to be reminded that he isn't perfect and essentially be taken down a peg (I love the idea of the jazz montage as the dark mirror to the "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" scene in 2). Sure, the execution is pretty bad and I think the film goes too far and makes Peter a murderer who is just lucky that the guy he thinks he killed escaped with his life, but the ideas are great.

    I love the casting of Thomas Hayden Church as Sandman, and the effects for his powers are breathtaking. James Franco gives an excellent performance throughout, even if he gets completely shafted. Venom looks AWESOME (I prefer his design here to the design in the Venom movie) and the idea to characterize Eddie Brock closer to his Ultimate counterpart is inspired. The movie also has some of the best action of the trilogy, particularly the first fight with Harry and the last fight with Venom. Finally, I think, discounting Spider-Verse, this is the best looking Spider-Man movie. The cinematography is beautiful and so many scenes stick out in my head as being well shot, like the birth of the Sandman or the whole Bell tower scene.

    The movie doesn't come together in the end and I think it has a few irredeemable flaws (all of which stem from the Sandman subplot I think), but it's still a beautifully crafted, watchable movie IMO.

  11. #41
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Parker View Post
    There are several scenes where Holland is basically alone and carries the scene all by himself. The ASM 33 homage (which I think demonstrated some excellent acting with the pure, childlike terror Peter shows there),
    The childlike terror is the problem for me in that scene. Obviously this isn't Holland's problem because it's an issue with producers/writers/directors quoting a moment out of all context. That moment in ASM#33 is about Peter becoming a man, an adult, taking reigns of his life. It's his valedictory "not a boy anymore" moment, that's what the Master-Planner Saga was intended to be about. Instead they made it about the toys in the compactor in Toy Story 3 (where Keaton voices the villain) in its place. That sucks.

    Holland's basically there to communicate youth and inexperience and play those beats over and over again.

    ... or the scene where he's stuck in the Damage Control warehouse.
    He wears a mask during that scene IIRC. Not really a big Holland moment there.

    He just doesn't have as much dialogue, with his scenes frequently consisting of him just being yelled or monologued at by these guys, and he comes off as a little flat.
    That's the writing more than the acting. The point is that you as an audience are always on Tobey's side and understand what it's like in his shoes at all times. The other issue is that it's easy to credit showy expressive acting or emoting more than underplayed and restrained performances.

    For my money, the Uncle Ben retcon with Sandman and the fact that Peter thinks he killed Sandman (not knowing he survived) and is completely not bothered by this even without the black suit on are the things that make that movie bad.
    Agreed. That Sandman stuff far more than the Venom and black costume stuff (which dont' get me wrong...also bad) was what made me quit that movie. It was such a boneheaded decision that it's mind-boggling. And the thing is this Sandman stuff was absolutely Raimi's own contribution. SM-3 is the only movie in the trilogy on which Raimi had screenplay credit and ultimately Spider-Man 3 is a failure because of him and not the studio.

    The dancing stuff is actually really fun and I enjoy seeing Tobey get a chance to chew some scenery
    Tobey can camp it up pretty well. Admittedly. But there's good camp (like Joel Schumacher's Batman movies) and bad camp (Spider-Man 3, Fan4tastic, and Zack Snyder's movies).
    Last edited by Revolutionary_Jack; 07-10-2020 at 08:12 PM.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    The childlike terror is the problem for me in that scene. Obviously this isn't Holland's problem because it's an issue with producers/writers/directors quoting a moment out of all context. That moment in ASM#33 is about Peter becoming a man, an adult, taking reigns of his life. It's his valedictory "not a boy anymore" moment, that's what the Master-Planner Saga was intended to be about. Instead they made it about the toys in the compactor in Toy Story 3 (where Keaton voices the villain) in its place. That sucks.
    I feel like the childlike makes the scene work (for me at least) because we see how scared he is, and we also see him push through that fear and muster up the power to get out of the rubble.

    However, while I disagree, your Toy Story 3 comparison is hilarious.

    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    He wears a mask during that scene IIRC. Not really a big Holland moment there.
    I think it makes that scene more impressive. He's able to communicate so much through body language and his voice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    That's the writing more than the acting. The point is that you as an audience are always on Tobey's side and understand what it's like in his shoes at all times. The other issue is that it's easy to credit showy expressive acting or emoting more than underplayed and restrained performances
    Touche.

    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Agreed. That Sandman stuff far more than the Venom and black costume stuff (which dont' get me wrong...also bad) was what made me quit that movie. It was such a boneheaded decision that it's mind-boggling. And the thing is this Sandman stuff was absolutely Raimi's own contribution. SM-3 is the only movie in the trilogy on which Raimi had screenplay credit and ultimately Spider-Man 3 is a failure because of him and not the studio.
    THIS. Oh, so much this. We could not agree more, my friend. Everyone blames that movie being a clunker on the studio, but the Uncle Ben retcon was there from the original pitch, before the studio tinkered with it. All the other flaws are forgivable for me. Too many characters? Sure, but it's fun to see Captain Stacy and Gwen and Venom on the big screen at least. Dumb dancing scenes? Yup, kinda an odd choice, but I get what Raimi and Maguire were going for. Venom being more of an evil bastard than he was in the original comics? I actually enjoy this version ok as an amalgam of the 90s cartoon Venom and the Ultimate version, and I think he works well for the story Raimi was telling. The symbiote randomly landing next to Peter and MJ in a meteor? Oh, very lame, but that isn't a make it or break it thing for me. Endgame is one of my favorite superhero films and yet the rat letting Ant Man out of the Quantum Realm is one of the dumbest things in any Marvel movie.

    No, the only thing that ruins that movie is the Sandman plot. I think that character is the root of every fundamental problem with the film. For one, as you said, the Uncle Ben retcon almost ruins Spider-Man and I already mentioned how I hate Peter killing him and not being really bothered by that. He's also the one character that makes it feel overcrowded. If you cut him out, you have more time for Harry (who is criminally underserved, being one of my favorite "villains" in the comics) and Eddie Brock. Plus, Sandman's abilities were apparently really hard to render with CGI, and the visual effects guys had to invent new technology to create his effects. So, removing him would also allow more money to be spent on creating longer scenes with Venom (notice how brief all of his scenes in the final battle are? I have always suspected the movie was trying to conserve money because of how costly Sandman was).

    Sandman is also a poorly thought out character. The movie wants us to feel sorry for him (to the point where he is allowed to go at the end without paying for his crimes) and yet he is shown rampaging destructively through the city, attacking cops and civilians without any care for their safety. I get that he is trying to steal money for his daughter, but the movie doesn't explore his culpability in several acts of destruction that probably got people killed (with the exception of the Uncle Ben situation).

    Sorry for making this a Spider-Man 3 thread .

    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Tobey can camp it up pretty well. Admittedly. But there's good camp (like Joel Schumacher's Batman movies) and bad camp (Spider-Man 3, Fan4tastic, and Zack Snyder's movies).
    Lol, Snyder camp is so bad because he is unaware of how silly his movies are and takes himself so seriously as this auteur.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Parker View Post
    No, the only thing that ruins that movie is the Sandman plot. I think that character is the root of every fundamental problem with the film. For one, as you said, the Uncle Ben retcon almost ruins Spider-Man and I already mentioned how I hate Peter killing him and not being really bothered by that. He's also the one character that makes it feel overcrowded. If you cut him out, you have more time for Harry (who is criminally underserved, being one of my favorite "villains" in the comics) and Eddie Brock. Plus, Sandman's abilities were apparently really hard to render with CGI, and the visual effects guys had to invent new technology to create his effects. So, removing him would also allow more money to be spent on creating longer scenes with Venom (notice how brief all of his scenes in the final battle are? I have always suspected the movie was trying to conserve money because of how costly Sandman was).

    Sandman is also a poorly thought out character. The movie wants us to feel sorry for him (to the point where he is allowed to go at the end without paying for his crimes) and yet he is shown rampaging destructively through the city, attacking cops and civilians without any care for their safety. I get that he is trying to steal money for his daughter, but the movie doesn't explore his culpability in several acts of destruction that probably got people killed (with the exception of the Uncle Ben situation).

    Sorry for making this a Spider-Man 3 thread .
    I think since we are discussing the adaptations it fits. The problem with Sandman is that he's an immensely powerful character and he's visually very striking and interesting. But similar to Clayface (i.e. Basil Karlo) he's stuck with an alter-ego (Flint Marko) who's basically a thug and henchman, and not a character with the gravitas to really command a movie all by himself. Of course the same applies to Harry Osborn as well. He could never have been a main lead villain by himself, certainly not Franco's character (albeit him more than the disastrous smorgasbord they jury-rigged in Dane DeHaan). Sam Raimi's movies are also dark and serious in action scenes and climaxes and he likes an element of horror whereas Sandman I think works best if the tone was more light-hearted and adventurous and vibrant. To be honest, he'd fit better in the MCU. The decision to stage all Spider-Man fights with Sandman at night which while obviously helps sell the CGI sand effects better than in daytime, isn't the best one in my view.

    The only way Spider-Man 3 could have worked in my view based on the stuff in the movie that's most developed (i.e. Peter having a dark side and damaging his relationships with Aunt May, MJ, Harry) is if you had Venom as the only villain but after Spider-Man ditches it, it latches on to Harry Osborn instead and Franco's Harry becomes Venom. Franco's Harry is not menacing to be a villain by himself but he could be as Venom*. One big issue with Eddie Brock in Spider-Man 3 is that he's totally redundant...there's already a character who is resentful and jealous of Peter and blames him for stealing his girl, and that's Harry Osborn. Redoing that arc with Brock and Gwen (who's really Ann Weying here) is wasteful because audiences see the same beats repeated again with a character who is even less sympathetic than Franco's Harry. Harry as Venom could have worked because the whole part about the suit loving Peter and seeing any host afterwards as sloppy seconds tranfers perfectly to Franco's version of the character. Would that have been good? I don't know.

    I think ultimately Sam Raimi did all he could with Spider-Man in those first two movies. He was already hitting a wall in the 2nd movie in terms of what he could do with the character (the concept of a sequel where the hero spends majority of the movie out of costume without powers is ultimately a very cheap dodge) and he should have walked off like Burton did after Batman 1989 and Batman Returns. Burton had two excellent Batman movies under his belt, got to do all he could reasonably do with that material and walked off like a boss. The same can't be said for Nolan (whose third movie, TDKR, is not very good albeit better than Spider-Man 3 as a third part).

    The sad part is that Spider-Man 3 did a number on him. Since that time he's only released and directed two movies (Oz which was a dud, and Drag me to Hell which is weird) and hasn't directed a single movie for more than a decade. It took too much out of him.

    * Harry Venom as a concept did in fact develop in the decade after the Trilogy in the Ultimate cartoons and most recently in the PS4 game, so alas too early, too late.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    The only way Spider-Man 3 could have worked in my view based on the stuff in the movie that's most developed (i.e. Peter having a dark side and damaging his relationships with Aunt May, MJ, Harry) is if you had Venom as the only villain but after Spider-Man ditches it, it latches on to Harry Osborn instead and Franco's Harry becomes Venom. Franco's Harry is not menacing to be a villain by himself but he could be as Venom*. One big issue with Eddie Brock in Spider-Man 3 is that he's totally redundant...there's already a character who is resentful and jealous of Peter and blames him for stealing his girl, and that's Harry Osborn. Redoing that arc with Brock and Gwen (who's really Ann Weying here) is wasteful because audiences see the same beats repeated again with a character who is even less sympathetic than Franco's Harry. Harry as Venom could have worked because the whole part about the suit loving Peter and seeing any host afterwards as sloppy seconds tranfers perfectly to Franco's version of the character. Would that have been good? I don't know.
    Yeah that makes sense. The nitpick comic book purist in me has never liked the idea of Harry being Venom, but I think that's the most logical way to "fix" that movie.

    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    I think ultimately Sam Raimi did all he could with Spider-Man in those first two movies. He was already hitting a wall in the 2nd movie in terms of what he could do with the character (the concept of a sequel where the hero spends majority of the movie out of costume without powers is ultimately a very cheap dodge) and he should have walked off like Burton did after Batman 1989 and Batman Returns. Burton had two excellent Batman movies under his belt, got to do all he could reasonably do with that material and walked off like a boss. The same can't be said for Nolan (whose third movie, TDKR, is not very good albeit better than Spider-Man 3 as a third part).
    Interesting. What about Spider-Man 2 showed that Raimi was hitting a wall in your mind?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Parker View Post
    Interesting. What about Spider-Man 2 showed that Raimi was hitting a wall in your mind?
    I saw that movie three times. The first time I saw it in theaters I went in with high expectations and came out feeling let down but liking it overall. The other times I saw it on TV with friends and others and my feelings toward it haven't changed for the better or the worse. I find Spider-Man 1 to be a better film on every level compared to 2, it had a perfect structure and wonderful concept of Norman and Peter having separate parallel origin stories that are intercut and gradually and organically cross over building to a perfect and bloody climax which is quite satisfying and impressive. It's got two parts...Part 1 is the origin, AF#15 stretched out for a full hour, Part 2 is basically all action with a series of fights between Spider-Man and Green Goblin, each one different from the last in staging and fighting.

    -- Spider-Man 2 is very poorly structured on the whole. Everything until the train sequence works (more or less). That's the emotional climax of the movie and that should have been the actual climax. Instead, right after that we have a series of denouements one after the other -- Harry finds out Peter is Spider-Man, MJ finds out Peter is Spider-Man, Peter defeats Doctor Octopus, Harry finds out Dad is Goblin, and then MJ chooses Peter over rich suitor. It's basically one after-shock after another, and its a comedown after the intensity of the train scene. People who talk about movies having an ending problem often talk about the third LOTR movie, but Spider-Man 2 is a better example and less justified than LOTR.
    -- The other issue is that the main story of Spider-Man 2 is Peter's romance with Mary Jane and Doctor Octopus and all that is basically an after-thought next to it. In Spider-Man 1, the whole point is that Norman Osborn is a cautionary tale for Peter, a character who is essentially an older version of what Peter could be...isolated, aloof, disliked by his company and his son, a misogynist. He reinforces the entire theme of "with great power comes great responsibility" (hence Tobey's Peter saying "I have a father his name was Ben Parker" to Norman when Goblin unmasks himself). Molina's Doctor Octopus though doesn't really illustrate that at all. Initially when Otto and Peter meet, he's an example of a scientist "who has it all" (great work, job he likes, happy marriage). And then the character spends the rest of the movie as a meat-puppet to his AI rather than an actual person. So there's literally no characterization there to speak of after the accident. The dynamic between Peter and Otto doesn't add up because logically Otto would inspire Peter to try and balance his life and find a way to accomodate MJ with being Spider-Man and actually dating her as Peter and working up the nerve to tell her his secret...and then Otto breaking bad would challenge and complicate that...but instead the story goes Spider-Man no more, and Otto goes on the backburner.
    -- The final scene with Peter and MJ is great but the stuff leading up to it is less satisfying and interesting. The whole MJ romance with JJ's sap of a son is cheap melodrama and it probably did a lot to add to this idea of KD's Mary Jane being a selfish b-word. It's illustrative of "false good" ideas in Hollywood screenwriting where the idea is to give a character an arc and dramatic hurdles to jump over...which is not bad, but it often leads to the cheapest dumbest melodramatic shorthand. The big disappointment is that the ending of SM-1 implied that she suspected Peter was Spider-Man after kissing Peter at the grave and looking at him clearly thinking of when she kissed Spider-Man. And in the sequel you see her piecing it little by little, but rather than actually have her figure out Peter is Spider-Man on her own before Peter tells her...the finale simply has her seeing Spider-Man without a mask...and that's just lame. I mean the movies clearly set that up...and had she figured it out, I think that would have been stronger for her as a character.
    -- Speaking of melodramatic shorthand, the whole impotency metaphor in the movie, and Spider-man's powers going out and that being the reason he goes "Spider-man no more" is a lame dodge. The point of the original story is that Peter quit being Spider-Man in ASM#50-52 because he was overworked and stressed out not because he lost his powers. Peter having powers and quitting proves that the character is making a conscious choice...whereas when Peter loses powers, and he sees a mugging in the street at the end of the Raindrops montage and walks past, well he doesn't have powers so what can he do. So it's a way for the movie to invite and pile guilt on Peter without actually driving home consequences for his decisions. So that I felt was weak. I mean when Peter ruses in no-powers as a civilian to save that kid from a fire and then we realize that some others died in the fire...that didn't happen because Tobey's Peter didn't use his powers, he genuinely didn't have it at that time. Using elements of Spider-Man no more is not a bad idea, but the way it was done, largely to give Tobey's Peter acting stuff to do without the mask, feels quite transparent.
    -- Spider-Man 2 is also the movie where the concept of Spider-Man losing his mask to show the actor's face in big moments began*...the train sequence being most blatant really took off. And that felt lame then and even moreso when later movies continued this tradition of laziness.

    That said, let me belt out positives...Tobey Maguire's performance here is aces. That scene with him and Aunt May is incredible. The scenes with him and Kirsten Dunst at the Cafe right before Ock throws a car into the restaurant and she askes him if he loves her and he obviously lies to her and she knows immediately that he's lying is well acted by both of them. Whatever issues I have with how the movie handled Doctor Octopus, Molina's Octopus is an impressive visual presence...the brown suit, chic glasses, and those gunge covered arms looks really scary and effective. The train sequence and also the bank heist before are great action sequences. For this stuff alone, Spider-Man 2 is an excellent movie and a worthy sequel.


    * Some would say that Goblin blew up Spider-Man's mask at the end of 1. But a) Goblin already knew Peter's identity and Peter knew he knew, so it makes sense to have Peter sans mask there, b) the bomb blew up a part ofthe mask and both of the lenses but Peter's face was still largely covered by the cloth of it, looking unrecognizable (as Harry when he sees Battle-Ravaged Spider-man in the third to last scene.
    Last edited by Revolutionary_Jack; 07-10-2020 at 10:47 PM.

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