May 05, 2007
It's simply astonishing that professional writers had a hand in that dialogue. Maybe relentless treacle interspersed with musty tropes plays very well among those who actually go to movies, rather than those who come home and blog about movies, but yech. Some of that was astonishingly bad.
That said, the Ezra spin is that this flick is about as forthright an argument for universal health care as could possibly exist. Without spoiling anything of importance to the plot, Sandman wouldn't exist, Uncle Ben wouldn't have died, and things would have turned out rather better for Harry if Flint Marko's daughter hadn't been denied care, thus leaving Marko achingly, and disastrously, desperate for money. Spiderman is fun to watch, of course, but there'd be quite a bit less pain, death, and destruction if Marko could have just sought out some decent care for kid. Coverage, it turns out, is the real superhero (and imagine Spiderman and the Sandman uniting forces for a PSA!). So this joins Garden State as a film where a universal health care system, humming along efficiently in the background, would've made life quite a bit better. Glad that liberal hammerlock on Hollywood is finally paying off...
When you're deeply, passionately, erotically in love with a hammer, every plot hole begins to look like a nail....
Posted by: NBarnes | May 5, 2007 6:30:31 AM
Posted by: akaison | May 5, 2007 9:30:21 AM
this is spot on.
And it reminds me of that part in Casablanca where Bogart is filling out all of those Blue Cross proof of medical necessity forms, and then the mail comes and he finds out that he has lost coverage for Rick's Cafe, and then he turns to Dooley Wilson and says
Plus there's that bit in Battleship Potemkin when all of the demonstrators are falling down the steps and then when they reach the bottom they're denied coverage.
Posted by: ayee | May 5, 2007 9:33:16 AM
Ezra is right -- please, for the love of all that is movie-going goodness, don't waste your money on this. I saw it at the Uptown (yay!), and even that couldn't rescue what has to be one of the most ridiculous, nonsensical, and overly melodramatic movies ever made (booo!). My usually reliable reviewers (I'm looking at you, Salon!) completely failed me on this one.
If I saw one more character shed one big fat tear right down the center of his/her cheek, I was going to stab somebody in the eyeball.
Posted by: AJ in DC | May 5, 2007 11:09:05 AM
I'm not sure that limiting potential entertainment narratives is a good argument for a particular policy, but okay. Saw it yesterday & enjoyed it, but I did have some thoughts on some of the plot points (revenge as a destructive force, deceptive hustling to get ahead in one's career) as they can apply to the political landscape; however, being able to deconstruct a movie on the fly is almost certainly not a good thing.
You're right that the dialogue was pretty lame overall, even though the performers themselves were mostly good. Being an old theatre geek, I was more put off by the notion that any casting director would ever put MJ/Kirsten Dunst in an old-style leading-lady musical role, given her ingenue looks. Very distracting. My main gripe, aside from the overabundance of villains that's so typical of later installments, is that it was just too long, probably by half an hour. They beat a few of their set pieces to death, IMO.
Posted by: latts | May 5, 2007 12:11:28 PM
Dialogue hoaky (but really, 95% of all Hollywood movies have hoaky dialogue), action scenes are awesome, acting good, special fx rather tame considering their budget (granted it is hard to astound an audience these days special fx), and I agree with latts on the length, a bit long.
Still, Frodo could take Spiderman any day of the week.
Posted by: Fred | May 5, 2007 1:22:05 PM
Well, the director and his brother are two of the authors of the script. Generally risky with movies like this (see also: Star Wars prequels.)
For the trivial, note the script was written by 'Sam Raimi & Ivan Raimi and Alvin Sargent.' The screenwriter's guild uses ampersands to join teams of writers, and uses 'and' to seperate the teams and individuals who worked seperately on the script.
Sargent is solely credited with the screenplay of Spider-Man 2 (with many others getting story credits.) The first Spider-Man was written by David Koepp. Neither Sargent nor Koepp is a brilliant writer, but they are both competent with interesting work in the past.
Sam & Ivan Raimi, on the other hand, not so much.
[On the other hand, Koepp's script for the second Jurassic Park movie was bad enough that Spielberg has a scene of Koepp being eaten by a T-Rex as Koepp is running to hide in a video store. I've always assumed that that scene, and the later scene where we blatantly see Spielberg's face in a reflection on a TV set, as an admission by Spielberg that this was not his best work. :-) ]
Posted by: Misplaced Patriot | May 5, 2007 2:07:33 PM
probably your best argument for universal care yet!
Posted by: DM | May 5, 2007 6:56:01 PM
Note: SPOILERS in this post!
Well, I liked it. They actually did a pretty good job of juggling the three super-villians, and with giving them understandable motivations as well. I'd rate this as above the original Spider-Man film, but just below Spider-Man 2.
Clearly, the underlying theme of the film is the futility of revenge. There are no fewer than three major revenge sub-plots, and none of them work out the way the vengeance-seekers expect. Eddie Brock's desire for revenge against Peter gets him killed. Harry Osborn is clearly much happier when he's not plotting revenge against his friends. And Peter, in the end, realizes that he can best honor Uncle Ben's memory not by killing Marko but by forgiving him.
Yes, it's a rather simple moral message, but in today's America, it's one that people need to hear. And that includes people in high political office.
Posted by: Josh G. | May 5, 2007 7:45:28 PM
If you stick to ONE bad guy with bizarro superpowers/special effects, you can probably bring a flick in at about 90 minutes, so that the audience won't start walking out early -- as they did in the theater where I paid GOOD AMERICAN MONEY to endure this bloated yawn.
See "The Lives of Others" instead, if you have a choice.
Posted by: sglover | May 6, 2007 12:10:00 AM
I wonder if Sandman's motivation is changed in the overseas dubs. So as to not confuse European and Japanese audiences, perhaps it's all about robbing banks so he can buy his daughter a loaf of bread.
Posted by: Grumpy | May 6, 2007 8:28:17 PM
Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance is another movie that talks about classism and had there been universal coverage, the tragic events would have never occured.
Posted by: Phil | Jun 9, 2007 11:15:27 AM
Posted by: judy | Oct 8, 2007 5:47:11 AM
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