||Spider-Man art by Daniel
Click graphic for larger version.
Greetings True Believers!!!
Were you to ask the geek/comic
loving community about the state of big-screen comics translations ten
years ago, they would have most likely groaned and shrugged their shoulders
in defeat. It's not as though there was ever a lack of cinema presence
for comic book heroes, it's just that they've always seemed to start
off with grand ideas and somehow end up with bloated action set-pieces
starring major actors with big time recognition.
This has not always meant
failure, of course. The first two Batman films, starring Michael Keaton
did well enough, even when saddled with somewhat over the top performances
from Jack Nicholson and Danny Devito. Bryan Singer’s X-Men even kicked
That said, fans of both
cinema and comic alike should enjoy the new film version of Spider-Man.
the film, armed with a screenplay by David Koepp is action packed and
entertaining and never veers far off course from the Spidey mythos (except
for the organic webshooters - see Wil Forbis's interview
with Joe O'Malley.) In addition the film, above and beyond all of
the flash and shiny cgi, has a big heart.
Central to the heart of
Spider-Man is the sense of regret. A longing to go back to being that
nerdy science kid in high school who always got throttled by the jocks
and never got the girl. A chance to bypass the arrogance and short-sightedness
that led to the death of Peter Parker's beloved Uncle Ben. Tobey Maguire
does a nice job of portraying the vulnerable, nice guy nerd Peter Parker,
and you can’t help but feel exhilarated by his joy in discovering his
Willem Dafoe is also damn
good as Norman Osborn, the father of Harry Osborn, and Spider-Man’s
Arch-Nemesis, The Green Goblin. You can see the intensity in his eyes,
the lurking madness of evil and destruction The Green Goblin wreaks
upon the city of New York and upon Peter Parker in particular.
Other notables include the
bubbly Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane Watson, who turns in a solid, believable
performance as a gruesomely wholesome romantic interest for Peter Parker/Spider-Man,
and JK Simmons, portraying Daily Bugle Editor/Curmudgeon J. Jonah Jameson.
Though he only has about 5 minutes of film you could really believe
that JJJ was a real, breathing, seething old bastard with a thirst for
money only outweighed by his desire for copy and big, dynamic, BOLD
FACED New York Post type lead.
All in all, I would have
to say that Spider-Man is one hell of a good time at the ole' Movie
House. Just kick back, drop a couple of ‘ludes, and have yourself a
What do you think America? Leave
your comments on the Guestbook!