Cinematic Appreciation: Spider-Man 1, 2, & 3

CINEMATIC APPRECIATION OBJECTIVE: I love movies. They are a combination of every art form- visual and audible, textures and colors and singing and talking and everything beautiful. So I thought I would take some time to fully appreciate the films that capture my heart the most.

Each film is scored on several different levels:

CGI (Computer Generated Images, or basically special effects): 0 being terrible and 10 being phenomenal.

COSTUMING AND MAKEUP (speaks for itself): 0 being inaccurate and 10 being perfect.

SCREENPLAY (script): 0 being filled with plot holes and 10 being flawless.

CASTING (even extras!): 0 being meh and 10 being EVEN THE PERSON ON THE SIDEWALK WAS IN CHARACTER!!!

MUSIC (soundtrack): 0 being a detraction from the film and 10 being an advantage.

And, finally, OVERALL FEELS (my fangirling emotions): 0 being none and 10 being I-can’t-breathe.

I’m not even dignifying each of these with their own review. I’m lumping them all together in one mega-review.

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Spider-Man (2002), Spider-Man 2 (2004), & Spider-Man 3 (2007)

Starring Tobey Maguire (Master of Ugly Crying), Kirsten Dunst, and J. Jonah Jameson

CGI: 5 out of 10

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I mean, I guess you did your best. But it’s still just eye-rolling-ly awful. However, it does improve over the course of three movies. But not that much, so you still only get 5 out of 10. And anyway, there was this moment:

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Just… never do that again.

COSTUMING AND MAKEUP: 7 out of 10

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I prefer this original Spidey suit to any of the others (don’t hate me, Homecoming fans). Especially compared to Andrew Garfield’s suit in The Amazing Spider-Man movies (why were those even made) which is loose and shiny and just not cool.

As for the rest of the costumes in these movies, there are wins and losses.

Peter’s First Attempt: Good. Hilarious. MJ’s School Outfit: Please no. My eyeballs are burning.

THE VENOM SUIT: YASSSSSSSSSSS. Bonus points for looking like the Black Panther suit. Eddie Brock’s Venom Suit: Okaaay? It has a life of its own?? hOW dOeS YoUR jAw dO ThAT.

SCREENPLAY: 6 out of 10.

Iconic moments like “With great power come great responsibility” are shadowed by questionable moments like “So here I am, standing in your doorway. I’ve always been standing in your doorway.”

But there are lots of good ones here. Lots of ammo to stock my Daily Quote Output Machine with. Things like, “I like being bad. It makes me happy.”

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Or, “Before we start, did anyone lose a bunch of twenties rolled up in a rubber band? Because we found the rubber band.”

AND LET’S NOT FORGET THE PIE:

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Now let’s talk about the downside of these screenplays. First of all, I dislike all the villains, except Doc Ock is ‘meh’ okay, and Harry isn’t actually evil. But Sandman?? Honestly?? And what even IS Venom and why did it suddenly come from outer space and attach itself to your suit??

The compelling thing for me in these stories is Peter’s constant battle with normal life, and hiding his identity. Because hiding his identity does absolutely nothing for him. He loses jobs and appears inconsistent and lazy because he’s keeping his powers a secret. It makes me feel for him. I hurt because he’s being mistreated. I hope for him to find happiness.

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CASTING: 8 out of 10

Maguire is maybe my favorite Spider-Man. I don’t know yet. He’s the best moody, 20-something, sad and discouraged Spiderling. Holland is definitely going to take the cake when it comes to accurately portraying a high schooler, though.

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Don’t ask why, but I love MJ. She should annoy me. All the factors add up. But for some reason, I care about her. But why is Aunt May in her, like, 80s?? Peter’s supposed to be in HIGH SCHOOL. J. Jonah Jameson is cast to perfection. Eddie Brock is the fab. So the casting is… just a-okay.

MUSIC: 9 out of 10

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It’s Danny Elfman, so it’s not my Absolute Favorite of All Things, but it’s good. The themes are strong with this one but sometimes it’s a bit bang-crash and not enough swell-feelsy. I’ll forever be sad that the 3rd movie didn’t release its soundtrack.

OVERALL FEELS: Surprisingly Lots of Feels out of 10.

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I have lots of feels for these movies. Spider-Man 1 was the first Marvel movie I ever watched and one of the first PG-13 movies. What these movies lack in story, they make up for with humor, heart, and a few cool fight moves.

And although each of them have major pros and cons (1, great origin but annoying villain, 2, best villain story but lack of emotional depth, 3, cool black suit but absolutely no villain depth and storyline chaos), I’ll always have a special place on my movie shelf for the Spider-Man trilogy.

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4 Comments

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  1. I know, Tobey Maguire is absolutely PERFECT as Peter Parker, except for his AGE. It’s like Jeremy Jordan as Jack Kelly- You are doing a great job but you are still THIRTY and I CAN TELL.
    I love Aunt May, though, and her age doesn’t bother me. Maybe Peter’s parents got married when they were older, or Uncle Ben was his Dad’s way older brother. Tom Holland is likely to come level with Tobey Maguire, but I have a strange loyalty to Aunt May and no one is going to compete with her.
    Every time I watch Spiderman 3 I am like, “SANDMAN I HATE YOU. WHY DO YOU EXIST?” And it ruins my life.

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  2. Yeah, you make a good point- Aunt May’s age is totally possible, so it’s not like a story mistake or anything. Which is nice, since there are sO maNy pRObLEmS in the third one.

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  3. So many problems- I CAN’T STAND IT.

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  4. THE PIE. I love the pie. It’s so good.

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