spiderman has hit the streets
May 3, 2002 4:11 AM   Subscribe

spiderman has hit the streets
i saw it today at noon as it opened here in hong kong. i thought it was fantastic!! what did you think of it? (no spoilers, please)
posted by bwg (51 comments total)
spiderman has hit the streets

"Someone's switched my spidey web-fluid for post-it glue! Oh nooooooooooooooooooo*splat*"

Anyone else getting a 500 server error for that link?
posted by rory at 4:51 AM on May 3, 2002

Anyone else getting a 500 server error for that link?

No, but the link should be this. I think.
posted by yerfatma at 5:11 AM on May 3, 2002

They both work now. Sorry about that.
posted by rory at 5:36 AM on May 3, 2002

posted by dhartung at 6:03 AM on May 3, 2002

I got to see it wednesday night.
What can you say? It's exactly as much fun as the ads make it look. Didn't disappoint me in any way.
I'm not generally the fanboy type, but I'll be going again before the weekend is over, and I rarely do that for The Big Summer Movies.
posted by dong_resin at 6:13 AM on May 3, 2002

I am gonna go see it today afternoon, I can't wait :)
posted by riffola at 6:30 AM on May 3, 2002

Ebert says that Spidey is too cgi-ish, flits around and doesn't feel real.
posted by mecran01 at 6:46 AM on May 3, 2002

no spoilers please

Please. What the heck kind of spoiler could anyone POSSIBLY post? "OMG - the Maguire kid who plays Peter Parker? He's SPIDERMAN, too!" Or how about: "And then this radioactive spider BITES the main character, and he gets super-powers!"

jpoulos: That's funny, I'm going out to IHOP for breakfast right now; French toast, as I've indicated before, is far superior to waffles. The secret is extra helpings of melted butter and much, much syrup.
posted by davidmsc at 6:47 AM on May 3, 2002

MetaTalk thread discussing whether this post.
posted by riffola at 7:04 AM on May 3, 2002

Oops.. left the "whether" in there.
posted by riffola at 7:04 AM on May 3, 2002

Spiderman has been my hero since I was like three years old. I used to dress up in Spidie underroos and run around outside. Once, a younger kid asked me if I was "the real Spiderman."

I am so bloody excited about this movie. I have been waiting 20 years for it.
posted by benbrown at 7:18 AM on May 3, 2002

Once, a younger kid asked me if I was "the real Spiderman."

As opposed to the real slim shady.

i don't care about spiderman... ever since that butchering of the x-men, i haven't been with the whole comic-movie deal. blade 2 was good though... maybe if spiderman had more ninjas, i'd be excited.
posted by lotsofno at 8:28 AM on May 3, 2002

Supernatural SpiderMan powers is what I asked for on our National Day of Prayer!! That way if Dubya gets laser vision eyes I can flit around and get away from him.
posted by nofundy at 8:50 AM on May 3, 2002

spider-man wins...
posted by PugAchev at 9:03 AM on May 3, 2002

ever since that butchering of the x-men, i haven't been with the whole comic-movie deal.

You will be sad to know, then that there are lots of other movies in the works (Daredevil, Hulk, Punisher). It seems that this may be the way that Marvel works its way back to being profitable. If the reaction in Malaysia (which apparently has a big comic book fan base) is any indication, the movie should do well. But, if you don't care about Spider Man, perhaps you would rather read about Hong Kong's spidermen.

(yeah, that's 3 cnn links, I know. I suck)
posted by eckeric at 10:09 AM on May 3, 2002

A very carefully selected set of film and comic book lovers and myself will view Spidey tomorrow morning, testing out a certain "Three Strikes, You're Out!" rule with Mr. Raimi in the process, hoping that he will live up this time around, while simultaneously fearing the terrible havoc of Mr. Koepp's hackneyed pen.
posted by ed at 10:41 AM on May 3, 2002

I agree with dhartung. It's Spider-Man. Or just "Spidey" to his fans. =) It's not Spiderman. It has been this way since the days of Stan Lee/Steve Ditko forty years ago and I know it looks picky from a nondiehard fan of your friendly neighborhood webslinger, but it's a legal trademark thing, and is also in respect to the original material. Personally I put the origin of Spider-Man in the same arena with Mary Shelly's Frankenstein and Robert Louis Stevenson's Jeckyll & Hyde. It's a classic tale that when told right is thought provoking, entertaining, and is one of many examples giving credence to comic books as both a graphic and literary art form.

I disagree respectfully with lotsofno. X-Men was not a butcher job. It was a bit more like a Frankenstein job, similar to the animated series. They take the best of over forty years of comic books to put together the best possible movie. It's not 100% identical to continuity of the comic book, but it got the main points of the series across without sacrificing too much. I was more pleased with the X-Men movie than I thought I would be. They even gave Kitty Pryde a cameo, and she's my favorite X-Men character of all time. So I was pleased.

I suspect I'll like Spider-Man too, if I go to see it. I'm still debating that (I don't like Columbia's legal interaction with fan websites), but the following will probably be what decides whether I go or not. I'd like someone who's seen the film to tell me whether or not they keep the wrestling bit in the film. It's not a spoiler because I don't believe it's possible to spoil Spidey, unless they get the origin wrong.

If they get Spidey's origin correct I will probably go see it. From all reports I've read so far, they did make minor changes, but I think those changes are improvements which make the farfetched story a bit more believable. Again like how Frankenstein and other similar contemporary classics have been modernized over the years into something today's audience can better accept.

What's important to me is that Spidey started his career in a selfish way, and let a bad guy go when he coulda stopped him because it wasn't his concern. The wrestling scene and the bit immediately afterwards in the hallway where this thief runs past him and he opts not to stop him is very important and cannot be removed from the Spidey origin without ruining the presentation.

This is because later on that choice of inaction turns out to be a terrible one, and he loses a loved one because of his own selfishness. This is the crux of what makes Spidey tick, and I want to know if they keep this authentic in the film version. This is what makes Peter Parker a troubled soul. It's what sets Spidey apart from most any other character in the history of comic books.

With Batman, Bruce Wayne lost his parents when he was young and had no way to defend himself or protect his family at the time, so for the rest of his life he's driven to be the perfect defender of justice. It's not like that with Spidey. Spidey had that chance. He could have acted for purposes of right, but opted not to, and this is what makes him a troubled hero. It's a subtle difference, but a driving force that sets Spidey apart from any other character in the genre.

There is probably going to be an argument among diehard fans about how the webshooters work. Personally I think the choice the filmmakers made is a good compromise between the old Stan Lee days and modern permutations. I'm not concerned there, because Spidey's still Spidey whether his webshooters are mechanical or mutant in origin. Ideally they should be both. That should appease everyone.

The important overlying message and theme of Spider-Man has always been "with great power comes great responsibility." That when life gives you an opportunity at power, it is not in your best interests to be selfish with such power but to utilize your position to help your community in productive ways. Though in the short term it appears a selfish choice will be best, in the long term it always backfires. As long as that message is not lost in the translation of Spidey from pulp to film, I will be satisfied.

It means they respected the core material, and didn't see this as JUST another excuse to sell merchandise. If they get the origin wrong I will not want to financially support it. I'd rather know this before I put down my money.
posted by ZachsMind at 10:44 AM on May 3, 2002


yes they did (that's not a spoiler because that's integral to the Spider-Man story, and every fan knows it), and yes, i was in a hurry when i wrote the post. forgive the lack of the hyphen.
posted by bwg at 10:52 AM on May 3, 2002

Oh, here's a tolerable link from Toonpedia which is a good short synopsis of the history of Spider-Man in his different incarnations. It even mentions the short-lived tv series. Having read that after typing out my previous diatribe, looks like they agree with me about the important points of his origin, and how it has echoed throughout his career.

Thanks BWG. I'll probably wait a few weeks for the lines to die down, but so long as they got his origin right I'm cool with it.
posted by ZachsMind at 10:56 AM on May 3, 2002

While you're on your way to the movie, pick up some Spidey cereal and Pop-Tarts, too. Love the webbing on the 'Tarts. (Warning: Link has annoying music.)
posted by GaelFC at 10:59 AM on May 3, 2002

yes they did

Cool. I agree with ZachsMind in having that concern for the story. I don't care so much about the special effects, or how "real" it looks. They could do it as a stage play, and it would be fine with me as long as they got the contours of the story right. Oh, yeah, I guess I hope the acting is good, too.
posted by eckeric at 11:17 AM on May 3, 2002

How appropriate that I'm playing Spider Solitaire!
posted by Sean Meade at 12:37 PM on May 3, 2002

I'm going to commit a slight thread-hijack here. Please forgive...

blade 2 was good

Did you really think so, lotsofno? I found it to be absolutely abyssmal: seriously without a single redeeming quality. The dialog was stilted, the plot was nonsensical, the CG in the fight scenes was second-rate, and the gross-out scenes were, well, gross (and done much better in the Alien movies, when they were still fresh). I'm not trying to insult your taste; I seriously want to know what you enjoyed about this film. I cannot understand how it got made, but I might be totally off base.

OK. There was maybe one redeeming quality: it was good to see Ron Pearlman. I've liked him ever since City of the Lost Children.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:42 PM on May 3, 2002

I just came back from watching it, and I loved it. Ok some of it was bordering on cheesy if not downright cheesy, but still a good movie. Enjoyed it more than X-Men! Tobey McGuire isn't that bad a Peter Parker as I thought he would be. It's a good movie to kick off this summer season.

Oh and I am not going to give away a lot, but watch the previews!
posted by riffola at 1:42 PM on May 3, 2002

Zach, wrestling is there, and the origin isn't too far removed from the original story. Go watch it, it's a good flick.
posted by riffola at 1:47 PM on May 3, 2002

spiderman spiderman spiderman

"Tell me, is super-looser-boy hyphenated?"

(Could it really be a spider-man thread without some harmeless fun at the expense of the fan-boys?)
posted by KirkJobSluder at 2:14 PM on May 3, 2002

Oh forgot to mention that Aerosmith's version of the Theme from Spider-Man rocks.
posted by riffola at 3:03 PM on May 3, 2002

but is it better than the Ramone's version.
posted by m@L at 3:27 PM on May 3, 2002

I definitely do prefer the Aerosmith version because it's rockier, of course the fact that I prefer Aerosmith over The Ramones might be a big factor. The Ramones version always reminds me of the cartoons while the Aerosmith version is more full bodied, with a Joe Perry led hard rock outro.
posted by riffola at 5:14 PM on May 3, 2002

I just saw it and thought it was lame. They got the story right, or pretty close to Zach's synopsis (I've never heard the story before).

This isn't exactly a spoiler, but the movie was written for 10 year olds. Every point was so incredibly obvious, every plot point was explained in excruciating detail that even a small child could keep up. Imagine redoing Batman, but aimed at Homer Simpson level IQ. I thought the story could have been as is, but with a script that was intelligent, or at least aimed at adults. It would have been interesting to see this done by someone like tim burton, someone that was aiming it at adults and not the junior high set.
posted by mathowie at 5:35 PM on May 3, 2002

Maybe this will be better.
posted by rushmc at 7:22 PM on May 3, 2002

No, making a Spider-Man movie aimed at grown-ups would be commercial suicide. Duh. It's rated PG-13 for a reason. It'd probably be rated PG if it weren't for certain violent sequences and Kirsten Dunst's perky nipples.

I just saw it myself and I've got to say, I'm disappointed that they couldn't make a CGI figure in a costume look even close to as human as the CGI characters in the Final Fantasy film. But I enjoyed it. It wasn't high art by any means, but it was an above-average summer blockbuster, with all that that implies. It was good seeing my favorite comics character (to the extent that I have one) on the big screen.
posted by kindall at 8:14 PM on May 3, 2002

the film made me feel like a ten-year-old again. maybe that was the point.
posted by bwg at 9:34 PM on May 3, 2002

I saw this movie with some people in their late twenties, early thirties, who complained almost verbatim the way Mathowie did above.
Much like the whole Phantom Menace/Jar Jar Binks thing, I don't even know what to say to people who found a movie called Spider-Man not quite grown up enough for them. It sends me right into Dude Mode.

Dude? Dude! It's a children's move! Your first clue? It's called Spider-Man!

I think kindall may be right about the cgi failure, though. It could have been better, but it wasn't artificial to the point of taking me out of the movie.

Or, what bwg said as I was typing this crap.
posted by dong_resin at 9:37 PM on May 3, 2002

is there going to be an archie movie? betty and veronica are sooo hot.
posted by quonsar at 9:41 PM on May 3, 2002

quonsar, it's been done... Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again.
posted by riffola at 10:03 PM on May 3, 2002

Spider-Man kicked butt. Caveat: I am a fanboy.
posted by owillis at 11:31 PM on May 3, 2002

It was fun. And the little kids sitting near us in the theater were so into it they were talking to the screen, telling Spidey "Don't trust him!" That clues me in that Raimi hit the right mix to make back the $80 million spent making this movie and then some. I didn't expect this movie to be anything but fun, and it was certainly magnitudes better than last summer's blockbuster wannabe piece of crap AI.
posted by wordsilk at 8:44 AM on May 4, 2002

blade 2 was good

Did you really think so, lotsofno?

actually, not really.. i just have a thing for ninjas. i ended up seeing spider-man last night, despite my earlier statements of not caring (girlfriend wanted to go really bad... i didn't have the heart to tell her i wanted to see deuces wild instead.). not that bad, and i'm surprised how much i was rooting for toby...

lol, macho man randy savage.. that's classic.
posted by lotsofno at 10:13 AM on May 4, 2002

I guess I would be an old-school Spidey fan (read the comics regularly through most of the 70s), and I was more than satisified with it. In fact I was blown away -- it was far better than I even expected it to be.

See, I was worried that this would be another 'nostalgia rape' that so many superhero fans get when their favorite character gets brought to the big screen. Well, this was my favorite from my childhood so I was preparing to be disappointed.

I was really happy to see that the makers of this movie chose to bring the original story to life, rather than reshape it into a perceived target demographic. That was my biggest worry about the film. True, some minor details were changed or updated, but all of the important story elements survived.

I also appreciated the fact that the characters were written in the same tone as the originals. The relationships were left in place, as was Peter Parker's bitter wit. Add in Sam Raimi's great storytelling skills, and you have a winner.

When I saw the movie, the audience was pretty much 2 types -- adult fans in their 20s/30s and kids who brought their parents. The movie seemed to resonate with all of us equally, and it brought the house to applause and cheers when it ended.

This is one of the few blockbusters that actually deserves the amount of money it's sure to rake in.
posted by Dirjy at 12:45 PM on May 4, 2002

Just got back from seeing it. My impression could be expressed in a series of "dittos" of previous comments in this thread: not terribly profound but well put-together, with some nice scenery-chewing performances from the supporting cast (especially J. K. Simmons as JJJ). Entertainment. CGI definitely looked like CGI, though.

At the very end, at a certain pivotal scene, somebody in the audience shouted "Dumbass!" in response to something Peter did/said. (If you saw it, you'll know what.) But it made sense in the context of what the character learned: Peter grew and developed through the film. Character development in a blockbuster: amazing.
posted by mcwetboy at 6:37 PM on May 4, 2002

Wow. I liked the movie. I think it started out great, but the moments when the dorky Peter Porker turned into Shakespeare when talking to MJ made me want to ralph. I like how they made him very human in some scenes, such as when he finds out he can do shit, ho goes nuts screaming "whoopeee!!!"

One thing: doesn't he, in the comic book, have to build his web slinger doodads himself? That they weren't a part of him? Anyhow, I liked it, it was fun, but it did cross my mind that it is too bad that they didnt' make it for a 20-sumptin' audience. I think too many movies with great potential are fucked up by their intent to aim at the sub-13 crowd (I got ya in my crosshairs, Lucas).

somebody in the audience shouted "Dumbass!"

Heh. I just about did myself. Anyone else read Peter Porker as the Amazing SpiderHam comic book?
posted by adampsyche at 7:10 PM on May 4, 2002

Anyone else read Peter Porker as the Amazing SpiderHam comic book?

Oh yeah. My brother was a serious comic collector in his teens, so of course I read all his stuff. I seem to remember a similar spoof of the X-Men in which Wolverine was a cross-dresser. In the same issue?
posted by mcwetboy at 7:19 PM on May 4, 2002

Yes, he built them in the comics but I thought the movie did a better job of making them organic in my opinion. Of course the diehard fanboys went apeshit.

Of course when "McG's Superman" decides that "why can't Smallville be in Iowa, not Kansas?" you can expect a protest site from me...
posted by owillis at 7:20 PM on May 4, 2002

i didn't mind that they changed it to organic. the problems i always had with the wrist-mounted devices in the comics were:

1. what prevented accidental discharge when he wanted to grab something or make a fist?

2. unlike his costume, which he wore under his clothes, where did he store the units until he needed them?

3. how did he never run out of the chemical he needed to manufacture the webs in the first place?

i think, given the length of the film, that to show peter building the device and creating the formula would probably have taken too long, unless they did it another montage as with the creation of the costume. that might have been overkill.

besides, organic fits better with the idea of a genetically modified spider as opposed to a radioactive one.
posted by bwg at 6:40 AM on May 5, 2002

2 terrible things about spiderman:

1.) Apparently Uncle Ben listens to Sum 41 in the car.

2.) Macy Gray is in it.

posted by adamkempa at 8:48 AM on May 5, 2002

Heh. Dude Mode.
posted by ZachsMind at 10:36 AM on May 5, 2002

Prepared to be disappointed when I entered, but I emerged a Fan. Surprisingly good. 'Nuff said.

Two sidenotes: Dafoe was convincingly evil in his role/s -- very well cast. And the earlier comment about JJJ -- hooboy - he was a laff-riot! Ripped right from the pages of the 'zine itself, and one of the best lines ("I only trust my barber!"). I look forward to more from him in S2.
posted by davidmsc at 3:31 AM on May 6, 2002

Spidey shatters box-office record (nyt link) by raking in an estimated $114 million during it's opening weekend in the US alone. That far exceeded the previous record of $90 million set last fall by "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone."
posted by riffola at 10:22 AM on May 6, 2002

I remember reading Spider-Man as a 10 year old in California. I was a little too young to see Gwen Stacy die. Wish I still had that issue, though.
posted by mecran01 at 6:39 AM on May 14, 2002

I just finally saw it tonight. It's ridiculous.
posted by bingo at 12:19 AM on May 22, 2002

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