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Subject: Web of intrigue

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Date Posted: Mon, Jul 19 2004, 2:40:56 pm PDT

Gothic: Small world indeed, I saw Spider-man 2 yesterday too. I had read somewhere already that Mageina Tovah was going to be in it (Thought that I mention it here – but obviously not), but I have to admit that I didn’t spot the asian guy from W&H. Some other people that you can try and spot are Bruce “Evil Dead” Campbell, Stan “Marvel comics” Lee and Ted “No, I haven’t got the part because Sam is my brother” Raimi.

Some Spidey 2 comments in spoiler stuff ***

Have you notice that most of the super heroes that have made it on to film seem to go through similar crises. Batman, Deredevil and Spider-man have all witnessed family members being killed. They all seem to go through a point where they want to give it all up – Batman in “Batman Forever”, Superman in “Superman II” and Spidey in this one. But is the lure and kudos of being a super hero that easy to give up?

For most of the beginning part of the film Peter is full of angst, being Spider-man is ruining his life. He is fired from is job as a lowly pizza delivery boy, college work is suffering and his love life is so far gone on the critical list that they are just about to pull the plug on the life support machine. I often wonder why they do it. Long hours, pay - there isn’t any, life in peril situations on a daily basis. The only benefit that I can see is that you get to wear a natty costume – rubber, leather or spandex, whatever takes your fancy….hmmm almost seems worth it now come to think of it.
But just as being spider-man is ruining is normal life, his desire to lead a more normal life is beginning to effect is alter egos ability to function. I thought that this was a nice touch making the loss off Spider-man’s ability to fire webs psychosomatic rather than saying the effect of the spider bite wearing off. Will this desire be his “kryptonite” to be exploited in future films by some evil person? In quite a few films there is the use of a film or play or novel to emphasise or highlight certain idiosyncrasies (some examples “an affair to remember” in “Sleepless in Seattle” and Kevin Costner’s liking of Japanese films so that he can watch one called “Yojimbo” – which means bodyguard.) in this we have “The Importance of Being Ernest” . I always thought that this was a clever title for the play given that earnest means sincere or honest and Ernest is the fictional brother created by Jack Worthing to add spice to his life and give him an excuse to flit between the country and the city, his alter ego if you like. But I digress.
Freed from his double life Peter seems to be enjoying a bit of an upturn in fortune – this is accompanied for some reason by the song “Rain drops keep falling on my head” – grades are up and home work is actually being done. Peter also decides to confess to his Aunt the events that lead up to his Uncles death. As you’d expect she takes this pretty bad and I thought that there may be a rift between the two that wouldn’t be able to be mended. Personally I thought that there would be more mileage in that. However, Aunt May subsequently forgives him and commends is honesty, the importance of being earnest I guess. Strangely though, things don’t stay so bright and sunny for Peter and those rain drops begin to turn into a torrent. He turns his back on a mugging victim and even when he risked his life to save a little girl from a burning building the subsequent discovery that there was someone else trapped in there leaves a bitter taste for Mr. Parker. In addition to this the main reason for his decision to give up being Spider-man, the chance to win the heart of Mary Jane appears to becoming derailed as she becomes betrothed to John the son of Daily Bugle proprietor J.J. Jameson. Life, it seems, can be just as difficult even without the trappings of being a super hero to complicate them. You have to wonder if it would have wiser to give up being Peter Parker and just be Spider-man.
Fate, however, has a few more cards to play. Realizing that Spider-man was the idol of millions of small kids (and a few grown up ones) and that M.J. was beyond his reach he decides to revert back to being both Peter Parker and Spider-man. His attempts to revive his alter ego are quite humorous albeit unsuccessful. This about turn also coincides with a change of heart by M.J. and as her wedding day approaches she arranges a meeting with Peter. Events turn worse when the films main villain puts in an all too rare appearance. Having done a deal with Harry Osborn to exchange Spider-man for much needed tritium, he nabs M.J. and leaves Parker to disappear and find Spidey. Notting guaranteed to bring back a super hero quicker than having the one you love whisked off by a super villain. You could almost hear the audience cheer above the sound of teddy munching on his popcorn as he reclaimed his suit and set off to rescue yet another damsel in distress. During the ensuing battle with Doc Ock, Octavius sets a speeding street train heading towards disaster. Spidey removes his mask due to some oil obscuring his vision, not really very security conscious and I can’t help thinking that the fact that some of the passengers have seen his face will comeback to haunt him. Exhausted from preventing the train from plummeting to a watery grave he is captured to taken to Harry. Shocked to learn that the person that he holds responsible for his father’s death is none other than is friend, the news appears to push the rather unstable Youngman a little too close to the edge..or maybe over it. Anyway, Harry fails to kill Peter, just as well really as that would have been a pretty strange ending, and Mr Parker is off again to save M.J.. The fact that Spider-man seemed able to locate Doc Ock without any trouble makes you wonder why the police couldn’t. Otto even states that the reason he won’t release M.J. is because she will lead the police straight to him. No surprisingly, Otto’s experiment fails again and threatens to destroy half of New York. It is often said that Doc Ock is spidey’s greatest villain in that he’s not a megalomaniac nor is he an out and out looney as is the green goblin. No, he remains an intelligent man and only turn to robbery to fund his experiment. Encouraged by Pete he helps destroy the unstable fusion. But in doing so is he condemned to a watery grave or have we not heard the last of Doctor Otto Octavius?
Harry Osborn in the mean time has discovered his father’s spare goblin outfit, guilder and pumpkin bombs – no prizes for guessing who he’s gonna go after. But for me I think that John Jameson, jilted at the alter, could pose as much a threat to the future happiness of Peter and M.J. He’s rich, connected and I can’t imagine that he would take to be shown up like that too easily. However, in most films these kinda people are dismissed without a mere second thought and I suppose that M.J. doesn’t have to face some sort of consequence for her action. So in the end Peter gets the girl when she realises that he is also the masked web slinger..The importance of being Spider-man I guess.
Indecently in the play Jack finds out that his real name is in fact Ernest and this enables him to marry his beloved Gwendolen, how has her hear set on marring someone of that name. When I had to do this in English many moons ago, I found out that “Ernest” was also a slang term used by Homosexuals to describe themselves. No doubt this was one of Mr Wilde’s jokes.
So was that film any good? Special effects were top notch and the action scenes were well constructed but a little to few and far between for my liking. Doc Ock to my reckoning only makes three appearances of note and is used too sparingly. Harry doesn’t seem to have much to say other than the fact that he blames Spider-man for his father’s death. There are some nice comic touches, I especially like the wheel coming off Pete’s scooter and bouncing out his apartment window. But nothing seemed to come of the possible love interest between Ursula and Peter and you almost wonder why it was put there. Also, given the fact that Rosalie Octavius died during the first experiment Otto appeared to show little concern for this. I thought that he may somehow blame the intervention of spider-man for her death, but this is one possible plotline that wasn’t considered. Toby Maguire has the ability to convey emotions with his eyes and you can almost feel his torment at times. It is a good way to spend a couple of hours and it’s entertaining enough, but offered little in originality.
** end spidey comments

Almond: Hope things are well with you and your family. Are you planning on seeing “I,Robot”. As an Asimov fan I’m not sure that I’m gonna like what they’ve done.

I think that I spent longer on this post than most of my English essays..quick teddy to the Rack mobile there’s strawberries out that that need liberating…..

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