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Friday, July 25, 2014

Movie Review:Spider-Man

Premise:A teenage superhero fights crime while a businessman turns evil.

Cast:Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane Watson, Willem Dafoe as Norman Osborn, James Franco as Harry Osborn, Cliff Robertson as Ben Parker, Rosemary Harris as May Parker, J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson, Joe Maganiello as Flash Thompson, Michael Papajohn as the burglar

Director:Sam Raimi

MPAA Rating:PG-13 for stylized violence and action

Genres:Sci-fi, action

Notes:Poster taken from IMP Awards.

Pros:The villain. A couple of minor characters. The final battle.

Cons:The romance/love interest. The way some of the characters are handled.

As if the teen years weren't bad enough with all the hormones, changes, and crushes, now you've got to deal with these brand new spider powers.

Peter's crush on Mary Jane doesn't actually end up going anywhere, at least not for this movie. He mostly just watches her from afar, wishing he could talk to her. Her role is mainly to give the hero someone to moon over and the villain someone to endanger.

Norman Osborn wasn't bad as a villain, though I would have preferred that they had gone for outright evil rather than give him two personalities, Jekyll-&-Hyde style (one being the pathetic, "good" side; the other being the darker, more assertive side). If it's intended to make him "deeper," it doesn't really work. His actor, Willem Dafoe, definitely plays the role well.

As for the other characters, I liked Uncle Ben. But J. Jonah Jameson was a little too much. The way he is presented works if he makes you laugh, but otherwise it just doesn't. And on a even more minor note, the lady signing up Peter for wrestling was funny.

So all in all, not bad, if a little overrated. Worth a watch.

Sex:Peter has had a huge crush on Mary Jane since he was a little boy. When she tells him not to make her look ugly in a photo, he says that's impossible. A gang follows Mary Jane into an alley and tries to rape her. Spider-Man saves her, and kisses her while she stands bra-less in a wet top. She remarks she thinks she has a superhero stalker.
Norman not-so-delicately suggests Harry's attractive girlfriend is interested only in his money. A man is mocked with "Nice outfit. Did your husband give it to you?" A woman asked about Spider-Man says "Guy with eight arms? Sounds hot." Another speaks fondly of his tights and butt.
A few woman wear low-cut outfits or lingerie. Couples kiss. Peter stares at his shirtless frame in the mirror after the spider bite transforms him. He isn't the only guy to lose his shirt. Jameson remarks if they can get a picture of Julia Robertson in a thong, they can get a picture of Spider-Man.

Violence:Green Goblin kills his board of directors, beats up cops, blows up parts of buildings, threatens to slowly kill a woman, sends another to the hospital, beats Spider-Man to a pulp, fights him in a burning building, and forces him to make a choice about who to save.
A building is set on fire. As you're probably aware, Uncle Ben gets shot. A woman and a tram full of children are dropped, with the intent of killing at least one. A man is impaled. Another man falls from a window to his death. Norman spasms and seizes after he tests a steroid on himself. Someone is thrown through a glass window and into equipment; it's later said he died.
Various crimes are seen and stopped by Spider-Man. A guy tries to beat up Peter post-spider-bite. He ends up punched out. A guys trips Peter pre-spider-bite. Mary Jane almost falls. Peter tests his powers by jumping over buildings, which results in mild injury. He also trashes his room working on web-shooting. Wrestling matches get painfully rough. Spider-Man attacks his uncle's murderer, slamming his face through glass.

Drugs/Alcohol:J. Jonah Jameson smokes a cigar. Other people smoke as well. Green Goblin uses knock-out gas on Spider-Man and a dangerous serum on himself. Norman pours himself a drink. A whiskey ad appears in the background.

Language:G*d, J*sus, a**, my L*rd, h*ll, crap, and freaking.

Spiritual:Aunt May says the Lord's Prayer, just as Goblin attacks her. He tells her to finish the "deliver us from evil" part as she screams. Uncle Ben remarks as he changes a lightbulb "And God said 'Let there be light.' And voila, there is light." Aunt May remarks God will be thrilled. According to her, when Peter first saw Mary Jane, he asked if that was an angel. At Thanksgiving, Aunt May tells everyone to say grace.
One species of spider is said to have a sense bordering on precognition. Spider-Man swings by a cathedral (pun intended). Tribal masks appear in the Osborn mansion. Then there's the expression "speak of the devil." Somebody says "God bless you, Spider-Man. Bless you." Goblin wishes Spider-Man Godspeed.

So what did you think about it?

© 2014 by M.R.R.

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