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Jeremiah Ecks

In Reply To

Subj: Re: Sam Raimi: The Problems With Spider-Man 3 Were "My Mistake"
Posted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 at 04:25:20 am EST (Viewed 185 times)
Reply Subj: Re: Sam Raimi: The Problems With Spider-Man 3 Were "My Mistake"
Posted: Sat Jan 03, 2015 at 01:30:30 pm EST (Viewed 14 times)

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I really don't like the justification that if Raimi wasn't forced to do "Venom", SM3 would've been good. I think the movie had plenty of issues that were bad and I actually don't think Venom was that poorly handled (though Peter wearing the symbiote, that's entirely different).

The Sandman retcon, which wasn't even hinted at in previous movies, alone ruins whatever good the series had built up. It just tells the audience that nothing that happened in those other movies will ever matter because we can just make some random shit up.

At least in the modern MCU era, Marvel is more about pushing soft retcons so old films that might seem out of synch line up a bit better (Cap 2 did a lot of this, though most of it isn't noticeable on first watch).

I agree. There were many other problems with that movie, and I agree pretty much with what you say about Venom being decent and the Sandman retcon being bad. Having too many villain characters isn't the problem with these movies, it really isn't. But people often suspect it is because traditionally movies with multiple villains seems to have failed -- I think this is more the reputation of Batman Forever and Batman and Robin than actual truth, though. Look at the best non-Spidey super hero movies of the past decade:

* X-Men 1, 2, First Class, DoFP -- all have multiple villains. Sure, it's an ensemble piece, but it proves it can be pulled off.

* Tim Burton's Batman: Returns had Penguin, Shreck and Catwoman. People may think it's fashionable to dislike that movie now but it was very commercially and critically successful at it's time.

* Christian Bale Batman: Begins has Ra's Al Ghul, Scarecrow, Zsasz and SPOILER VILLAIN. That's four, although the Ra's I refer to here is a cameo. Dark Knight, is essentially the Joker movie with bits of Batman, but you also get Scarecrow, and several of the crime bosses i.e. Sal Moroni.

* Avengers: Loki, the Chitauri, and a lovely little Thanos cameo.

* Daredevil: Had Kingpin, Bullseye and sometimes good / sometimes bad Elektra. Now, okay, maybe some people hate this movie but it did really well commercially and decently critically.

So what I'm trying to say is 'three villains' isn't the problem. The problem is balancing them, and telling a decent story. I think the problem with SM3 isn't the balance of the villains - each gets good screen time - it's the story.

Harry had to become New Goblin - it was core to the original two movies. But the whole 'I knew about your father' butler revelation is silly, and the 'two-face' face is even more unnecessary. Killing him off was predictable, in some ways too predictable. And his arc, whilst somewhat true to the core of a certain take on the character I suppose, just feels forced. There is no natural flow to it. It's hard for me to pin down why it doesn't work for me. James Franco maybe? I dunno.

Venom was (very debateably) the fan choice, (obviously) the kids choice and there is a very compelling story to be told with a 'dark version of Spider-Man', but few people have said it made sense to have both the Alien Costume Saga and the Venom origin in the same movie. Best to have done them as a two-parter, which I believe was mooted at one point. So arguably whilst I think three villains could be done, doing a whole 'dark Spidey' and 'another Dark Spidey' in the same movie doesn't give you time to properly do either justice. And no offence but getting an emo haircut and hitting MJ hardly makes you dark Spidey. Try getting a Ben-Clone for the latter. But no, the 'dark Spidey' angle was really not done well. You can tell Raimi isn't too au-fait with the Venom comics because if he was, this would have been much better...

Which leaves Sandman. And if anybody thinks tying him into the death of Uncle Ben makes him interesting... He just felt bland and somehow off all the way through. In some ways he would have been better had he been a gleeful thug rather than a reluctant tragic figure. We'd seen that before (Octopus) and better. Basically, Raimi and Maguire both loved the character and wanted him in. And don't get me wrong, his SFX were amazing, but lost in a movie full of clichés, contrivances and contempt, and I love comic book clichés. \:\)

You don't have to give a villain sympathetic pathos to be interesting. They didn't make Joker at all sympathetic in Dark Knight, give a backstory to Scarecrow in Begins, or tie Loki into the death of Peggy Carter in Captain America. Raimi's problem was he did it with Octopus, and it worked. But in this movie, he already had New Goblin to tie into Peter's life, and also Venom to some degree. Sandman didn't need to as well, and the movie collapsed with it.

Other problems? Lack of chemistry with Maguire / Dunst, the jazz scene, stupid 'Super Sandman' fight (if he's that powerful, how the heck does Spidey ever beat him?), an underwhelming appearance by Gwen (what was the point), lack of Aunt May being awesome, and a badly written MJ. So many scenes that meant so little.

I could go on and on about the problems with the movie. And yet... I still like it. In it's own way. I adore the first New Goblin fight - it's ridiculous and OTT but I love how they both fight, and for a change it seems Raimi has action sequences down (he just needed to take Spidey out of costume). I do love any scenes with Aunt May. \:\) And the brief moments of Venom being around are more interesting to me than the rest of the movie. Topher Grace is always so slimy in everything he plays, he worked for me as a younger take on Eddie Brock.

Anyway, at least these movies had Jonah in them. \:\)

-Jeremiah Ecks,
who could go on and on but has other things to do. \:\)

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