We arrived at the theatre at 9:00 PM. The 9:30 & 10:00 screenings had both been sold out. The line for the 10:30 screening had already begun to form at the oppostie end of the multiplex.
I arrived in NJ around 5PM. Shortly after my mother and her friend picked me up from the train station, our car got hit and I almost got into a fist fight with and angry cyclist (he was not the one who hit our car). I don't think I've been in a proper fist fight since high school, and those barely count because I stopped caring about winning a fight after my sophomore year. It was easier to just take the beatings, and after that nobody bothered. This guy didn't take a swing, like I told him he couldn't, in spite of me making fun of his outfit and sticking my middle finger in his face. I don't condone violent interaction. Not even yelling or screaming. But you don't fuck with my moms. Seriously.
Shortly after the altercation I met up with my dad and he drove me to the store to pick out a funeral-suit. The guy at the store had a Russian accent and was a little too "hands on" for my tastes. It's hard enough finding a t-shirt that I feel comfortable in. Try finding a $200 suit. I stopped trying them on after the third suit, for fear that the Russian salesman would continue to find excuses to put his hands in my groin area.
There was a story in the NY Times' Arts & Leisure section about Philip K. Dick. The writer was smug and dismissive, in spite of trying really hard to write a puff-piece. The words "pulp" were used frequently. Not always favoreably either. He made fun of hard core fans a lot. He compared Dick to Emerson. I don't think he got it.
It was nice to see Will and Josh. Josh was already in a pissy mood to begin with. He just got back from visiting his sick girlfriend in the hospital, and he was not pleased about having to go to work on a Sunday. When Josh is down, he has a tendency to bring those around him down with him. It's a talent he has. He just sits there quietly, checking the time on his cell phone every other minute, and starts his sentences with "Errrreah..." and ends them with "...but whatever, man. It's not up to me." That made the whole ride to the movie theatre pleasant.
Apparently my home town movie theatre - the one all my friends worked at - had now become overridden with "creeps". There were cops and rowdy teenagers everywhere. I told them to go to Times Square on any Saturday night. It made me sound like a pretentious New Yorker, which is funny because every time I open my mouth in NY I sound like a scummy kid from New Jersey. Will insisted on going to the giant multi-plex on route 1.
When we finally got into the theatre it was a half hour before they began showing previews. It then took them another half hour to project anything on the movie screen with any consistency. I saw snippets of the new Lindsay Lohan movie god knows how many times, with the sound dropping out here, the image dropping out there. Josh checked the time.
Spiderman 3 was such a messy hodgepodge of one CGI fight scene after another. It would've been more fun to look at if I had remembered to bring drugs. But I didn't, so I had to sit there for nearly three hours watching CGI fight scenes interspersed with Tobey McGuire's awful "I'm crying!" face. It seriously could have been cut down to a single hour-and-a-half fight scene and everyone in the theatre would have walked away with essentially the same experience.
The movie was so over-crammed with multiple plot lines competing with each other for screen time that they only were able to squeeze in one truly great J. Jonah Jameson moment. It felt like someone had editted together all the important parts of a television series. Like the beginning of Veronica Mars when the say "Previously on Veronica Mars: 'Duncan Kane - he was my boyfriend. That is until his sister Lilly, my best friend, was murdered. My dad went after the Kane family. They destroyed him, and my mother couldn't take it anymore. She left us 6 months ago." Imagine watching that for three hours.
The best parts of the movie dealt with Flint Marko/Sandman. More so than any of the actual superhero action, these scenes looked to have been ripped out of the pages of some weird 60s EC comic. It looked brilliant. Had Raimi been trying to make a good film, instead of a Hollywood blockbuster that specialized in fanboy handjobs, he would have made the entire movie look like the scenes featuring the Sandman.
And is it me or has Kirsten Dunst actually become a worse actress? Previously, her acting, at best, ranged from Vacant to Ethereal. In Spiderman 3 she simply became ignorable. You almost don't want Spiderman to save her. I did like the outfits she wore. They were all metropolitan class. It was a signifier that she had moved up in the world. Just like comic books. Did you know that they're not just for kids anymore?
All of this is evident in the use of a metaphor similar to someone trying to bash your head in with a rubber mallet. Annoying and ultimately futile. Anger, rage, and resentment can destroy who you are. Really. Spiderman 3 told me so. Also, subcumming to your rage will make you a way better dancer. Really. Spiderman 3 told me so. Like five times. And then there was the CGI fight scene to end all CGI fight scenes. At least until Shrek the Third comes to theatres.
Gwen Stacy? Oh, yeah. That was that "fanboy handjob" I was talking about. She proved to be completely expendable. Just like Theresa Russel's appearance as Felicia Hardy. She wasn't even referred to by her first name, and I was very tempted to yell out "Art Garfunkel had sex with your bloated corpse!!" when she stepped on screen. Oh and James Franco is only sexy when he smiles. Otherwise he just looks funny.
Maybe I'll watch the movie again on DVD and see how it stands up when I'm not in such a terrible mood.
I doubt it'll be much better, but I might be more forgiving.
Sam Raimi doesn't need to make any more movies like this. He's proven himself too good for that. He needs to stop dating down.