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Hey, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab.

Damn, someone should make a comic book out of this movie!!

The highest compliment I can extend to Sam Raimi, who deserves massive kudos for succeeding where many, many other filmmakers have failed, is that he has crafted a film here that is completely honest to its comic book roots while also fully embracing the unique kicks that cinema can offer.

Better than X-MEN. Better than any of the BATMAN films. More successful as a whole, even, than the first SUPERMAN. This is not just a great adaptation of a comic book property. It is a enjoyably successful reinvention of a character in a new medium that will kick off a franchise that will be around for years and years to come.

Which isn't to say that it's perfect or beyond reproach. It's not. There are things that I hope Raimi and company do differently next time out. But the point is that there will be a next time out, and deservedly so. SPIDER-MAN swings, and is a perfect kick-off for what could well be a great movie summer.

As I drove out to pick my girlfriend up for the film tonight, I had on the John Williams CD for SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE. It's that great 2-disc set that was released last year. I hear that music, and it sends me back to the Christmas I first saw that film, when I was crazy for that soundtrack album, tying a towel around my neck, and running around my house, diving over furniture with arms extended, that incredible theme making me feel like it was me who could fly, me who could leap tall buildings in that single bound, me who was faster than a locomotive. SUPERMAN was state-of-the-art when it came out, but even then, I never really believed the effects. STAR WARS and the behind the scenes magazines a year earlier had already taught me about blue screens, and the backgrounds on SUPERMAN weren't perfect by any means. Didn't matter. The film was magic because Richard Donner understood the enduring appeal of Superman and his iconography. Christopher Reeve didn't just look like Superman and Clark Kent; he defined them. It's impossible to think of Superman now without thinking of him in the suit, him in his prime, young and truly beautiful.

Our screening was held at The Grove, a new theater complex in Hollywood, part of the Fairfax and 3rd complex which used to be best known for The Farmer's Market. It's the first time I've made my way over to The Grove, and on the outside, it's spectacular. The theater lobby, the rest of the mall itself... it's one of these incredibly well designed and landscaped mini-Disneys, more amusement park than shopping mall, with the biggest goddamn Barnes and Noble I've ever seen flanking the theater on one side. My only complaint is that the auditoriums themselves are just like every other generic stadium seating megaplex that's been built in the last five years. When these "destination theaters" like The Grove and The Arclight and The Bridge start charging $9 or $12 or $14 for an admission, then they owe us more than just a nice lobby or frozen coffee at the concession stand. They owe us a state-of-the-art exhibition, seating that is a genuine comfort, and enough qualified staff to actually take care of issues like proper projection and noisy patrons.

This was one of the big junket screenings, and I saw plenty of other familiar media in the theater as we found our seats. Leonard Maltin had his spot staked out early. Steve Kmetko, dressed down in shorts and a t-shirt, was behind Dakota (I AM SAM's daughter) Fanning in line at the concession stand. Many of the junketeers had big bags full of SPIDER-MAN swag, and I caught glimpses of giant action figures and web-shooter packages and glow-in-the-dark pens. For the record, I wasn't given a single item, so don't start ranting at me about it in Talk Backs. It's only by the good graces of Laura Ziskin that I was even invited to see the film, since Sony didn't make any effort to invite me. I don't care. I'm not a fan of the junket scene. I'm like you... I just wanted to see the film.

I wasn't alone, either. The crowd was buzzing before the movie. It's the most palpable excitement I've felt in a press screening crowd since 1999, when I saw THE PHANTOM MENACE in Westwood. There was an excitement, a certain level of expectation. When the lights finally went down and that Columbia logo appeared, the room went silent. People were ready and willing to take the ride.

Let me commend Marvel Films on their new logo which opens the movie. It's awesome, a comic fan's dream, a reminder of where all of this began as well as a promise of where it might be heading, all in 15 seconds of film. With X-MEN, BLADE, and now SPIDER-MAN all working as film properties, and with THE FANTASTIC FOUR, DAREDEVIL, THE HULK, X-MEN 2, and the inevitable spider-sequel all right around the corner, Marvel is sitting in the catbird's seat for the first time in its history, filmwise, while it's fallen champion DC that's stumbling around drunk with a thumb up its corporate ass, unable to get a BATMAN or SUPERMAN film off the ground to save their lives.

From the opening frame, one word can be used to describe SPIDER-MAN: confident. This is a film that knows exactly what it is doing, that has a mission, and that accomplishes it with precision strokes. This film was designed to introduce us to Peter Parker and Spider-Man and to explain why he is who he is, and how he became that way. Every other SPIDER-MAN film (and there will be many, god willing) from here on out can assume your knowledge of the events in this movie, and can build from that knowledge. This is indeed an origin movie, but it's not "just another" origin movie. This is the new template, in my opinion, the gold standard.

There's a reason for that, too. They haven't bogged the film down with tons of extraneous characters. There's just one villain. There's not some false attempt to pump this up into something it's not. For what is allegedly a $110 million film, it's suprisingly intimate. We meet all the characters right up front: Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire), Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst), Norman (Willem Dafoe) and Harry (James Franco) Osborn, Aunt May (Rosemary Harris) and Uncle Ben (Cliff Robertson). We meet them as we go. This is characterization on the run; we learn about them as the extraordinary events of the film unfold. There's not a ton of padding where we watch them do things unrelated to the story of the film. Every scene is part of the puzzle, important, doing several things at once, and by the time Peter is bitten by a genetically enhanced spider, we know this kid. We know how he works. We know who his friends are, and how he's treated by those around him.

And Peter Parker is us.

It's always been the thing that distinguished him as a character, that made him so important and so iconic so quickly for fans. More than a psychotic billionaire with a rubber fetish, more than an indestructible alien being from a dead world, more than a raging monster with a limited vocabulary, Peter Parker has always been us, our surrogate in comic form. Stan Lee and Steve Ditko (both of who are credited in the opening titles, to my great delight) tapped something elemental when they created this character and his life.

David Koepp has sole credit on the film's screenplay, but it's been through other hands, including Scott Rosenberg and Alvin Sargent. Whatever alchemy was worked on the script ultimately paid off. There are no lapses of sanity here a la Storm's pithy bon mot about Toad and lightning, nothing that's going to make you wince or lunge for the scan function on the DVD remote during repeat viewings. For the most part, there's an easy, natural quality to the dialogue, and exposition is handled with a light, even nimble touch. In many ways, this is the polar opposite of Koepp's PANIC ROOM script. That was a high concept film where the concept totally overwhelmed even the bare bones attempts at characterization, which is what the film really needed to do well if we were supposed to care about what we were watching. SPIDER-MAN, on the other hand, could probably coast on the visceral kick of seeing Spidey in live-action, but it pushes itself and delivers genuinely memorable characters with a sense of life to them as a result.

There's no question: the casting helps. Tobey Maguire is the foundation upon which this film's success is built. He grounds each moment here, and it's hard not to flash on other work he's done in the film's early moments. There's a little bit of PLEASANTVILLE, a slight touch of THE ICE STORM. There's a reason Tobey plays those roles. He always seems slightly uncomfortable in his own skin, awkward. This is the story of Peter Parker becoming comfortable in his skin, the journey as he becomes the man he's going to be, and that's true for Tobey as well here. Physically, he's incredibly convincing. There's a great moment, pictured below, when he comes downstairs after his first shaky night post-spider bite. He's feeling so good, so pumped, that he runs up a wall, more like Gene Kelly than like a superhero. It's a playful little bit of work, and that's how Tobey is all the way through. If there's room for him to add a little something extra, he seems to be able to do so just right each time. Playing the lead in this film proves he is charismatic enough to not only carry a big film, but to also make it look easy. In many ways, he strikes me as a young Tom Hanks. There's that same kind of instant identifiability, that same open, approachable quality. Tobey's been fortunate and smart in his career so far. He doesn't have a whole bunch of MAN WITH ONE RED SHOEs and MONEY PITs to live down. He's worthy of being taken seriously right now.

A superhero is only as interesting as his supervillain allows him to be, obviously, and this is the place where SPIDER-MAN hits its biggest home run. Willem Dafoe has been one of my favorite character actors since the first time I saw William Friedkin's exceptional and overlooked TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A., where he gave a haunting, phantasmal freakshow of a performance as the creepiest counterfeiter in film history. Directors have hit equal amounts of paydirt casting him with type (WILD AT HEART; SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE) and against (CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER; PLATOON). In my opinion, he's the single most believable film Christ so far, transcendent as he wrestled with his human and divine natures in Scorsese's searing LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST. In his hands, the struggle between Norman Osborn and The Green Goblin, two sides of one man's personality, one set free to do what the other can't, is just as important as the struggle over duality in Scorsese's film, and Dafoe deserves credit for refusing to indulge even a slight bit of camp here. I've always thought Nicholson's Joker was overrated, hammy, and uninteresting. Of all the possible interpretations of the character, the choices he made seemed obvious, boring, all in service of Jack being Jack. Dafoe manages to make me believe in The Green Goblin, a character I always thought was too ridiculous to make the translation to the bigscreen.

There's a great scene early on, after one of the Goblin's violent attacks, when Norman is alone in his study, only to be taunted by laughter and the voice of the Goblin. He goes looking for the source and ends up confronting a mirror. What could be unintentionally funny becomes chilling as we glimpse the depths of Norman's madness and fury. It becomes clear just how dangerous and broken this man is, and it doesn't take elaborate make-up or special effect. Dafoe and his remarkable face tell us all we need to know. Costume Designer James Acheson has been getting slagged for months now by fanboys over the look of the Green Goblin, but he did something really sort of brilliant with the design of the mask. There are a few key sequences where The Goblin and Spider-Man speak, and The Goblin is able to flip up the eyes of the mask. In close-up, the black of the mouth is also see-through, so we end up seeing Norman's face and the Goblin's at once. He acknowledges with subtle touches that he knows how surreal he appears in the full Goblin suit, but he never turns it into comedy. Instead, it becomes one more reminder of his creeping mental illness. The Goblin is frightening because of how Dafoe plays him. In other words... yes. He manages to sell the suit 100%.

The rest of the supporting cast all turns in able work to various effect. Kirsten Dunst breathes life into the somewhat underwritten role of Mary Jane. I'm glad they toned down the abusive background of the script's early drafts. As it is, we see just enough of her home life to know what she's running from, and hear just enough from her to know what she's running to. We're not supposed to believe she's a brilliant actress who is languishing in undeserved obscurity. This is more real than that. She's a sweet girl who defines herself largely by the men she dates. Trading up from Flash Thompson to Harry Osborn makes sense in a social climbing sort of way. Falling in love with the unattainable fantasy of Spider-Man makes sense in a little girl sort of way. The Green Goblin begins to creep into Norman Osborn more and more over the course of the film, and at a Thanksgiving dinner, he openly accuse her of opportunism, of dating Harry for his money. Harry is in no position to argue with the idea; his only way of expressing himself with her seems to be buying her things. And Norman's words hurt her because, on some level, it's true. It's only at the end of the film that she seems to finally come to a real, mature understanding of her own possible self-worth and the real meaning of her love. When she offers her heart to Peter Parker, it's the first time she's ever taken a chance on something real. That makes his rejection of the offer even more painful for both of them, and it paints the end of the film in a lovely melancholy.

James Franco, who gives good brood, does exactly what he needs to in this film, and the sequel seems set to feature him in a much larger role. There's a pampered softness about him that's perfect for the role. JK Simmons is laugh-out-loud funny as J. Jonah Jameson, and one of my favorite supporting character cameos (there are bunches of them, both in person and in name only) is Miss Brant, his luscious secretary played for one memorable moment by the future mother of my children, Elizabeth Banks. I highly recommend she be the co-star of the next film, and am delighted by the idea of comic continuity actually making that a possibility. Rosemary Harris is everything you could ask from an Aunt May, and I liked the fact that she isn't someone we've seen in a ton of stuff lately. As far as most viewers are concerned, she will just be Aunt May. For younger viewers, I'm sure the same will be true of Cliff Robertson as Uncle Ben. His first scene was one of the few that felt really phony in the whole film, but that's the script's fault, not his. He makes up for it with his last major scene with Peter, and anyone complaining that they toned down the arrogance of Peter wasn't paying attention. He verbally lashes out at Ben at one point, and we can see both how much it hurts Robertson, and how bad he is at hiding it. Peter's guilt later is compounded by the fact that he enjoys being a dick when he allows the escape of the robber who ultimately kills Uncle Ben. The line he uses on the wrestling promoter is cold and callous, and he enjoys it. This is the pivotal sequence of events in the film's first third, more important than the spider-bite itself, and Raimi nails it. So does Tobey. When he realizes what he's done, when he comes face to face with the end result of his own failure, he is shattered. And we feel it with him, more than I ever felt it when Bruce Wayne?s parents died, more than I felt it when Glenn Ford crumpled over in the driveway of the Kent farm. He learns the hardest lesson possible about responsibility, and it's played honest, and it's the time that Raimi takes in telling that part of the story which gives the film its very real weight.

And I can't imagine being bored by that first third. Not at all. Yes, there is a massive amount of character work going on, but Raimi never slows down to do it. There are great visual flourishes all over the place. Peter's fever dream after being spider-bitten, his gradual discovery of his powers, the great sequence at the wrestling arena (complete with cheer-worthy Bruce Campbell cameo and a hysterically funny Randy Savage), the effortless way the discovery of his web-shooters leads into the first use of his spider-sense, which is an amazing visualization of something that I never stopped to think about. In the comics, it's easy to draw black squiggly lines around his head. It's shorthand, and we get it. But how do you express the feeling of spider-sense? Raimi does it beautifully, and then the sequence keeps getting better. He never stops to admire his own cleverness. Raimi's working on a level here and on a scale that he's never attempted, and it's like he's giddy, enjoying it as much as we are. That seems to be what happens when you let a real fan of one of these characters steer their adaptation to the screen. If Mark Steven Johnson and Ang Lee can do for DAREDEVIL and THE HULK what Raimi has done here, then we are in for a pretty amazing fourteen months at the theaters.

Another thing I like a lot about this film is that the Goblin isn't in the middle of some giant master plan to rule the world. He dispatches his enemies early on, and then the rest of the film becomes a personal struggle between him and Spider-Man. As a result, the fights in the film aren't just chaos and carnage. They are actually fairly harrowing, emotional as much as physical. I've got overwhelming acrophobia, and Raimi and his superb cinematographer Don Burgess managed, along with the wizards on John Dykstra's team at Sony Imageworks, to leave me dizzy and unsettled with much of the aerial work. That brings us, of course, to the much-debated issue of the CGI work in the film, and whether or not it looks "real."

No. It does not.

However, it does look real cool.

And, in the end, that's what I care about. I love watching the impossible moves and manipulations that Raimi's put his uncomplaining little CGI stuntmen through. Spider-Man's first real moment of web-swinging in the film is one of my new favorite effects scenes because it was emotionally engaging. I felt the intoxication that Peter must have felt, combined with the fury at the death of his uncle and the exhilaration of his newfound ability. It's a great sequence, and in moment after moment, the animators have found little ways to add convincing life to what we're looking at, little character touches that make it more than just the same basic motion pattern over and over. There's a sense that web-swinging is one of those things that is just barely controlled, like it could go out of control very easily. He uses buildings, flagpoles, balconies, and anything else to get from place to place. New York exists on several different planes for him, and I felt that Raimi successfully realized my own personal life-long dreams of seeing Spidey in action. I got what I went for. Even if everything else had failed (and it doesn't... not by a long shot), I would still feel justified in telling other Spidey fans to check it out for the shot that closes the film, a mind-bogglingly cool burst of energy that will send you out the door with a big goofy smile on your face.

"Wait," you're saying. "You said you had complaints. You distinctly mentioned reproach." I would be remiss if I didn't bring up my one major gripe with the film, and for some fans, it'll be a doozy. Danny Elfman has turned in one of the most pedestrian, forgettable, anonymous pieces of music in his entire career with this picture. Anyone could have written incidental music like this. It's pretty much the same basic sort of march that Elfman always uses for heroic pictures. There's no theme, though. I'm not saying that the theme is bad, either. There's literally no theme. There's nothing in the movie that I could identify as an attempt at a theme. There's nothing memorable about any musical cue, and at no point did I feel like Elfman's presence was doing anything for the film in any way. I'm shocked by how much I disliked his work in this instance. I may not think much of the original 1989 BATMAN, but I thought the score almost made up for the film's deficiencies. It had character. It was inventive. And now, 13 years later, Elfman's just churning out wallpaper that you couldn't hum if you tried. It's a profound disappointment, and I hope he's replaced for the next film. For whatever reason, he simply didn't have anything worth contributing this time out, and on a film this good, that's almost unforgiveable.

I'd like to close by speaking directly to purists. I heard a pair of you talking in the lobby after the film, one of you noisily complaining about Gwen Stacy and continuity and the original Goblin costume and the organic webshooters and you know what? Shut up. I was where you are now at one point. I remember one night in particular, when I was railing down the phone line to Harry, bitching about the organic webshooter thing. And in earlier scripts, I hated the obviousness of the wet dream metaphor and the puberty metaphor and the way it turned Peter into a freak. That's not how it's played onscreen, though. Instead, Raimi gets one of the film's biggest, most sustained laughs out of the webshooters, a real, natural, character-based laugh, where we suddenly find ourselves confronting the absolute mundane reality of suddenly finding spinnerettes in our wrists. We laugh because we realize how seriously we're taking it all, and how much we can put ourselves in Peter Parker's shoes. We laugh because it works, and it feels right. This isn't set in the continuity of the comic books. That's a no-win proposition. This is establishing a new continuity, one that exists in these films. This is the only chapter of that story that's been told so far, so don't start complaining about contradictions. It doesn't contradict itself with any of what we see or hear, and that's what matters. Spider-Man is one of the most visually recognizable fictional characters in the world, right up there with Mickey Mouse and Popeye and Harry Knowles, and for many people, this will be their introduction to the mythos. On that level, the film delivers completely. It does exactly what it is supposed to do. It leaves you wanting more, and it makes you care about what happens next.

And now that I've said all that, I want to see the film again. I want to see that great, gritty, brutal last fight that leaves Peter in the tattered, torn costume. I want to see the scene on top of the bridge. I want to see that last heartbreaking scene between Peter and MJ. I can't wait to see that moment, so unexpectedly moving in light of what happened last September, when a group of New Yorkers stands together, unafraid in the face of the Goblin, one of them calling out, "You mess with one of us, you mess with all of us!" I want to go back to that New York again and again, and I'm betting you will to. I'll race you for the ticket line right now. Until then...

"Moriarty" out.

Readers Talkback
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  • April 15, 2002, 4:51 a.m. CST

    moriarty?s great review

    by paldew

    cheers, mori. you?ve lightened up my miserable monday morning. and i?m right with you regards the organic webshooters stuff. it?s fiction, ya dig?

  • April 15, 2002, 4:52 a.m. CST

    CAN NOT WAIT!!!!!!

    by denmonx

  • April 15, 2002, 4:53 a.m. CST

    great review moriarty

    by nixon45

    but it left me with a lot of question?s. mwah ha ha. just kidding, i thought this film would suck, but you give it hope. saw frailty this weekend, mucho gusto, very good. that bill paxton, man, i'd sure like to have a piece of that....did i just think that, or type that?

  • April 15, 2002, 4:56 a.m. CST

    Stupid forgetting my password

    by But_Arthur_Evil


  • April 15, 2002, 5:01 a.m. CST


    by Spidey2323

    I can't wait...NUFF SAID!

  • April 15, 2002, 5:14 a.m. CST

    mmmm Mary Jane

    by alpha

    I'm so glad Drew liked this, I trust his opinions.

  • April 15, 2002, 5:18 a.m. CST

    this movie will kick so much ass!!!!!

    by pparker

    18 days until spiderman, 30 until AOTC. this may will be the most ass-kicking month of my life!!!!!

  • April 15, 2002, 5:21 a.m. CST

    I'm not a fan of the junket scene. I'm like you... I jus

    by Darth Pixel

    There is a difference, between you and us: You are a much better writer... that said, great review. Can't wait.

  • April 15, 2002, 5:29 a.m. CST

    Saw it a few hours ago (okay, more like four or five hours ago).

    by Psyclops

    Totally thrilling, incredibly entertaining and definitely one the best comic book movies ever made. Watching this film is like being a kid again and discovering the world of Peter Parker and The Green Goblin in the pages of your favorite SPIDER-MAN comic book! You guys are going to love it.

  • April 15, 2002, 5:32 a.m. CST


    by Giant Fish

    I've been looking forward to this film for half my life now. I still can't believe they got around to doing it, and never, ever dreamt it would be any good. A great piece of writing, by the way. With all the illiteracy on the Web, it's nice to have people like Moriarty around, in spite of the Reichenbach Falls incident.

  • April 15, 2002, 5:40 a.m. CST

    Mori, you and I were at the same screening!!!

    by Psyclops

    That noisy patron you were referring to was probably the same guy me and my buddy met outside of the theater who snuck in a bottle of Jack and got smashed before the opening credits. Dude sat two seats away from me the whole time... nice guy, though.

  • April 15, 2002, 5:43 a.m. CST

    Nice review Mori

    by JacksonsBane

    Certainly got my anticipation level right up. Shame I have to wait a month to see it. Grr.

  • April 15, 2002, 5:51 a.m. CST


    by SAVOIR_faire

    Worked on the film, and your review made my day. I'll always be biased, but when the public digs it, it's such a high.. Just so everyone knows, most of the vfx crew are fans like you. Lots of love went into the film. Tell your entire family and circle of friends to represent on May 3rd, so other Marvel titles life FF will see the light of day. Cheers, all.

  • April 15, 2002, 6:13 a.m. CST

    I was THIS close to see this today...

    by Eddie Arkadian

    ...almost scored me a screening at the Grove when frickin' lady luck bent me over and tapped that ass Oz style. Ruined my day, man. Oh well. Man, I just can't wait to see this thing! For all of you that thought this movie would suck - why? With Sam Rami being a fan favorite (for the most part) and all, it just amazed me at how folks just knew this film was gonna blow. Ever see Darkman? Like it or hate it - the film was the ultimate comic book movie (until now...heh, heh...)And Moriarty - you are without a doubt the best reviewer on this site. You cover all the points, inject your humor, and do it all without sounding like an illiterate raving loon. Keep up the good work. Other than that - can't wait for this movie! I'm first in line opening day - believe that!

  • April 15, 2002, 6:14 a.m. CST

    Harry, you're fired. Moriarty you rock.

    by Det. John Kimble

    The only problem is I have to wait 2 weeks to feel the joy that came through in M's review.

  • April 15, 2002, 6:27 a.m. CST

    "You mess with one of us, you mess with all of us!"

    by Jemma McFatBack

    Oh god I hope that line doesn't stick out and suck as badly as it reads, and I really hope it was in the movie on September 10th. Otherwise, it sounds fairly insulting to me.

  • April 15, 2002, 7:16 a.m. CST

    cool review, but..."Stan Lee and Steve Ditko (both of who are cr

    by MartinBlank

    Why would Ditko be credited? Sure, he was the first to draw regular Spidey stories, but it was Jack Kirby who actually designed the Spider-Man suit. Rumor had it that was why Marvel went with the black Spidey suit for a while, because they were afraid if Kirby won a lawsuit against them, they'd have to pay him for the right to use the red-and-blue design. (If Kirby were still alive and litigious, you think they'd've gone with the old-school suit for the movie? Doubtful, considering how common it is these days to go with the all-black-latex look for superhero movie costumes anyway.) So if we define "created" in comic-book land as "the person who thought of the idea for the character" and "the person who came up with the look for the character," technically Spider-Man was created by Lee and Kirby. Of course this has nothing to do with the quality of the film itself, I'm just pointing it out because it seems like one more way for Marvel to ignore Kirby's considerable contribution to the Marvel mythos as we know it today, and frankly, it annoys me.

  • April 15, 2002, 7:44 a.m. CST

    is Moriarity a SELL OUT?

    by digiman

    From reading your review I smell the scent of freshly wired green into your account. It just seemed too eager to please.

  • April 15, 2002, 7:56 a.m. CST

    Wow, Mori....

    by Otter

    ... this has to be, by far, one of the best reviews I've ever read by you. It made me laugh, it gave me a lump in my throat. Thanks for a great review, given from the heart.

  • April 15, 2002, 8:17 a.m. CST

    Aspect ratio is indeed 1.85:1 - the only thing that sucked about

    by Psyclops

  • April 15, 2002, 8:18 a.m. CST

    Martin Blank, don't even ask. Martha Campbell, you don't

    by Chilli Kramer

    Deal with it. Martin B... See previous Spidey Talkback for Kirby vs Lee vs Ditko. Lets talk about the actual film: looks good. Of course, I was gonna go see it if it was Corman 'Fantastic 4' bad anyhow. Good review though Mori. It gets my hopes up but good.

  • April 15, 2002, 8:58 a.m. CST

    I remember Oprah "explaining" Beloved

    by durhay

    and how we should all love it. I'm getting that same icky feeling here.

  • April 15, 2002, 9:06 a.m. CST


    by BurlIvesLeftNut

    I can't take the wait anymore!

  • April 15, 2002, 9:18 a.m. CST

    jemma mcfatbank, how can that line possibly be insulting?

    by Captain Katanga

    i think youre being oversensitive

  • April 15, 2002, 9:33 a.m. CST

    And another thing....

    by Chilli Kramer

    I've just about conquered my gripe with web shooters (mustn't... complain.. be thankful they made the film at all... grrr.. inner turmoil too much..) but I have a new gripe to nurse. Chew on this fanboys: In the film Mary Jane falls in love with Spidey first, Peter second. In the comic, vice versa. Surely this takes more away from Petey, his science genius mind being gone already. Or am I wrong?

  • April 15, 2002, 9:40 a.m. CST


    by Fearsme

    I had an open mind about this one, but now im not so sure. Every review on this one is so messy. Mori's reviews always spend so much time referencing every actor's filmography, that im never sure whether hes reviewing their work on this film or their entire body of work. ANd ive read 6 reviews for SPiderman, all of them make one thing clear: THE CGI is downright shitty. And you can tell me how much that doesnt matter, but when it comes to an action/adventure film, it means a lot. Just think of the laughter elicited by the Scorpion King appearing in the end of Mummy Returns. It sounds almost as bad. Even the best performances in the world cant save a movie if the 30 minutes of CGI work in it is crap.

  • April 15, 2002, 10:04 a.m. CST


    by Sammy_Jankis

    Anticipation. Geek fan boys count down the days. Looks like a good year. The format is probably screwy, but it's all there.

  • April 15, 2002, 10:09 a.m. CST

    Yeah, smells like a sell out

    by Mr. Impossible

    Especially when they say: best comic book adaptation ever! Better than Superman!" "I felt sadder after Cliff Robertson's death than Glenn Ford's." "I hated the organic webshooters as much as you but now I LOVE them."

  • April 15, 2002, 10:10 a.m. CST

    Re: Ditko

    by Veidt

    For anyone who wants to question Ditko's contribution to the character, they should know that Ditko plotted most of the issues he drew (with Stan Lee contributing dialouge). He also designed and/or invented most of Spidey's Rogue's Gallery. Doctor Octopus, The Green Goblin, The Vulture, The Sandman, The Scorpion, Electro, Mysterio, and Kraven the Hunter (among others) are all Ditko creations. So I doubt if we'd be seeing a movie based on the character (or if the character would still exist at all in comics) if not for Ditko pouring his heart and soul into the comic in its formative years.

  • April 15, 2002, 10:29 a.m. CST


    by Damer1

    I'm there for the first showing... great review.

  • April 15, 2002, 10:33 a.m. CST

    Sounds good - and I'm easing up about Gwen Stacy

    by moviet00l

    The "I have to be alone" aspect of Peter Parker's character is always overshadowed by "with great power come great responsibility." But I think it's equally important to his character. Uncle Ben teaches Peter he has to be Spider-Man. Gwen Stacy teaches him if he is Spider-man, he has to be alone. It's a wonderful, tearing aspect of his character - and I'm glad they both appear to be included. I'm still not convinced the lesson is completely learned unless Gwen Stacy dies - but I also see how that would be too much of a downer for the film. Ah, well - all the more reason to see it!

  • April 15, 2002, 10:50 a.m. CST


    by SCOTT1458

    You are sooooo right. Who the hell liestens to movie soundtracks in their car?????????

  • April 15, 2002, 10:55 a.m. CST


    by Ernst Blofeld

    Hey, if we in Britain aren't getting spider-man till mid-June, how about Sony taking the film back and fixing the effects? Some good must come of this delay, the thought of Kirsten Dunst wearing very little in the rain, while highly sexist and all that, is just too good to wait for. Going to have to put up with Natalie Portman in skimpies in sweaty heat. Dear me I'm turning into that guy on the 24 TB with the Kim obsession...

  • April 15, 2002, 11:05 a.m. CST

    Sellouts and CGI

    by ColdSun

    You fanboys bitching about Mori being a sellout totally crack me up. His opinion is different than yours so you come on here and post in a talkback basically saying the man is a liar. That is so ironic and funny if you think about it. I mean who is the true liar here? A man giving his opinion about a movie or some fan who hasn't even seen it saying the reviewer is a liar? Oh and for the guy whining about the CGI - all I have to say is that I actually LIKED Mummy 2. Oh well there goes my credibility. I don't give a shit though. The CGI was horrible at the end but hey the rest was entertaining in a summer popcorn movie sort of way. Why would you even consider going to see a comic book movie expecting anything to be "real?" Suspend your disbeliefs and have some fun you worthless loser. For me, I am sure after reading this review that the effects for this movie will be good enough for me and my kids to sit there and have a blast. Long live Spider-Man and long live summer flicks.

  • April 15, 2002, 11:45 a.m. CST

    Did Moriarty type this review with 1 hand?

    by Flint420

    Hey Moriarty, thanks for taking Sam's Toby's Willem's & Stan's collecitve dicks out of your mouth long enough to write this "fantastic" review. Ciao, Flint

  • April 15, 2002, 12:23 p.m. CST

    this is great news

    by Jabbathenutt

    my 3rd favorite comic book has a great movie. NOw if only Ghost Rider and Iron Man would get done.

  • April 15, 2002, 12:25 p.m. CST

    Spider-Man Trailer Music...

    by Buddy.Lembeck

    The music in the trailer, there seems to be a theme there? Is this the music from the movie, or is this stock stuff from somewhere else. I've heard it's temp music from Planet of the Apes. Is this true? Where is the music in the trailer from, cause I think that stuff is pretty amazing! On that note, anyone know about the music in the Unfaithful trailer? I know the first half is Moby, but I don't know the second half. It's amazing and I wondered if its also temp stuff from somewhere else or actually from the movie? Love you, Smooshie!

  • April 15, 2002, 12:28 p.m. CST

    Gosh, Kirsten Dunst sure is purty

    by Woody Tobias Jr

    Just thought I'd mention it. I know most talkbackers aren't interested in that sort of thing, But those two pictures were the most pleasant part of my day so far. Between Liv Tyler and Natalie Portman, I've gotta say that Spidey's got the most appealing gal in all of geekdom.

  • April 15, 2002, 12:46 p.m. CST

    The CGI Debate . . .

    by God Of Forkery

    Hey Mori, or Harry, or whoever might be reading this. I have a suggestion. I am sick and tired of people complaining pointlessly about "fake looking CGI" in films as of late. Personally, I don't really mind use of CGI as long as it furthers the plot, rather than overshadows it. Now, a film like "Spider Man" probably couldn't exist without CGI. But still the people complain. And complain. And complain. So . . .if CGI is so "fake looking," and there are so many people complaining about it, one could only assume that someone out there has a better idea of how to go about doing things. HENCE, my suggestion. Start up a talkback . . .call it "CGI . . .What Would YOU Do" (or something to that effect). At the beginning of the talkback pose the question . . .you are the director of a 90 million dollar filmed adaptation of a beloved comic book. The story would contain elements that would require substantial special effects work. HOWEVER, in creating these special effects, you want to keep the CGI to a minimum (or even bypass use of it altogether) as to keep the film looking "real" and satisfy the fans. This would open up the floor for discussion of how to create more "real" looking special effects in a day and age where theoretically, such a thing should be possible. Now, granted a lot of what will be said in this talkback will end up being a lot of hot fanboy air . . .but who knows . . .a few valid ideas might just come out of it. And seeing as how these talkback boards (and subsequently, the voices of the fans) seem to carry a bit more weight than once perceived these days, maybe someone's great idea will actually get implemented in a future production. So there you have it. Start a talkback, let the bitches bitch, and perhaps, a diamond will appear from out of the rough.

  • April 15, 2002, 12:51 p.m. CST

    Thank you Moriarty

    by BenDaRas

    I must say most of my fears had dwindled off about this film. Between what I see in the trailers, what the people involved in the film have had to say and the early reviews coming in I havn't been too worried. However with this review you have elivated all fear. I am still a little worried about the Mary Jane (the choice over gwen stacy, the casting, the combining storilines which is already shown in the trailer) but other than that I feel nothing but pure geek anticipation for this film.

  • April 15, 2002, 12:52 p.m. CST


    by SAVOIR_faire

    Hear, Hear! Thanks for the rare voice of reason! There was a time when , if you saw something onscreen and had other ideas about how it could be done, you pursued the craft and learned how to do it yourself, thereby gaining a better appreciation for how friggin' difficult the process is. I suppose it's all to safe to criticize from a distance...Oh well-

  • April 15, 2002, 12:58 p.m. CST

    I know I'll get reamed for this and I'm gonna go see thi

    by superhero

    I mean, they're like Batman's utility belt or Green Lantern's ring. They're just SO much a part of Spidey that as a fan from my childhood to my teen years and now back again after ten years since the comics are great again...that I'll just miss seeing them in the movie. It just kinda makes me sad. I just loved those things. I LOVED the fact that he made them himself and that they'd run out of web fluid or that they'd gum up and jam in mid-flight...those were such great moments. Man, I'll miss those. I guess we'll always have the comics though. That is unless Marvel changes them in the books too. Oh, man. That would suck. Oh, and before any of you get on the "it's not realistic to have a teen invent something like that" kick: Think about the obscure uneducated clerk who discovered the theory of relativity. It's much more realistic than growing "spinnerets" out of your forearms. Besides, we're talking about a movie where the kid runs up walls and stuff. Who cares about realism? Oh, and I'm not tryin' to start a flame war here...I just, well I'll miss the precence of the web-shooters is all...Oh, well, I hope I do like this movie and this well written review certainly does give me hope...

  • April 15, 2002, 1:11 p.m. CST

    What a great review

    by ManosTHOF

    Seiously, kudos...... can't wait for this one.

  • April 15, 2002, 1:33 p.m. CST


    by defino

    i love willem dafoe's work as much as the next guy, but insulting nicholson's joker is just uncalled for. i'm sure it would have been interesting to see what he could've done with the role had the movie been rated R, but regardless he works wonders. "it is legitimate. i saw it. i was there. i saw it all. he reached up with his dead hand and signed it with his own blood, and he did it with this pen. hello vinny, it's your uncle bingo, time to pay the check!"

  • April 15, 2002, 1:38 p.m. CST

    Now I know this film will be stinky...

    by RicardoLuv

    This review could easily be a review for any of the new DC Stan Lee Presents... titles. Bad decisions about characters (organics, green goblin costumes) are still bad decisions whether they are made by great artists or not. It's like Tim Burton's Batman and the unarticulated neck, you can excuse it away, but it, frankly, ruins the movie.

  • April 15, 2002, 1:52 p.m. CST

    It seems I've been bitten...

    by Flycollar

    Moriarty, as usual, your work here is passionate and honest. And while I'm gushing... It seems I've been bitten by the spidey bug and find myself daydreaming as I walk to get lunch on 6th avenue, like a six year old again, picturing myself swinging from Ave of the Americas all the way to Wall Street. POP QUIZ: I wanna know, how many of you can make a pretty good webslinging hand. I'm so f'ing disturbed, I look like a gimp when I try... my pinky can't take it, wants to close with the ring finger. May 3, May 3, May 3...

  • April 15, 2002, 1:56 p.m. CST

    The whining and insults continue...

    by ColdSun

    Wow. Still people whining about the CGI as if they could do better themselves. I have an answer for all your naysayers and whiners: DON'T GO SEE THE MOVIE IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT BEFORE YOU HAVE SEEN IT. It's really that simple. Until then, let the Spider-Man fans enjoy their anticipation and shut the hell up already.

  • April 15, 2002, 2:29 p.m. CST

    Gwen Was More Important Than That

    by CptGrimm

    Spider Man accidentally killing his one true love as he tried to rescue her from plunging to death off the bridge at the hands of the Green Goblin was perhaps the single most important event (other than his Uncle's death) in Peter Parker's entire life. The Spider Man comic revolved around that event for years, and it impacted everything the our hero has become. I don't want to seem like a narrow minded "purist," but Gwen's death was a pretty important plotline to be blown off.

  • April 15, 2002, 2:42 p.m. CST

    Is that all film music is to you?

    by bmsatter

    Is that what film music has come to? Elfman composes what could be an excellent example of craftsmanship (no, I haven't seen/heard it yet) but becuase it has "no theme" it's bad. Nothing to hum to? One of the many problems facing film and film music today has been exhibited right here. You want a tune, go listen to the radio! Film music (any music) is not made of solely from melody. If he truly dropped the ball it won't becuase he neglected to composed a tune. To truly understand this you have to understand WHY Elfman is good in the first place, and no, it's not because he's written memorable tunes. "Something to hum to?" boy, if that were all it would take to make a good film score. . .

  • April 15, 2002, 2:43 p.m. CST

    moriarty - your review is more than a review

    by TarantinoWebsite

    your reviews are always something more than that. they are a mixture between philosophy and movie-love. just great.

  • April 15, 2002, 2:47 p.m. CST

    RE: Spider-man Trailer Music

    by scorpio2049

    yo...the spider-man trailer music, like the planet of the apes music, is called "pompeii." I agree, it's a cool song, just wish it was longer! You can get the song on Kazaa...because morpheus sucks now ;)

  • April 15, 2002, 2:54 p.m. CST

    I'm there.

    by rabid_republican

    This is the review for which I have been waiting. Moriarty proves yet again why he consistently serves us the best, most trustworthy reviews on the site (although not the most proofread). I appreciated both his unbridled appreciation for what really mattered in translating Spiderman to film (namely, acting, plot, and style all which seem present here) and NOT harping on some of the nitpickings of other fans. In addressing the concerns of organic webshooters and the Green Goblin costume, Mori, much like the film, seems confident, we'll be as pleased as he. Given I'm more inclined to agree with Mori on what makes a film great (in varying degrees) I am filled with great anticipation of seeing this flick. See you in line fan boys.

  • April 15, 2002, 3:15 p.m. CST

    Correction, It's Spider-Man 2

    by hiplingo

    I don't know what all this "It's our first time seeing this character through the magical medium of thrilling moving pictures" nonsense is about. Anyone with a memory longer than a carrot stick will remind you of the seminal Spider-Man series in the early Eighties and it's 'origins' pilot movie. Sure, Spider-Man never fought super villains back then, it was mostly just small businessmen trying to make some fast money before going on to play the exact same characters in the A-Team but it was fantastic and it explained everything already. So surely this is just a tired retread? What's coming next, Spider-Man 3: Die Spider-Man Die!!. Or am I getting it confused with another Sam Raimi classic? Oh and Danny Elfman hasn't made a 'hummable tune' since 1993, not unless you have a 124 piece orchestra taped to the inside of your mouth. Great review, my bottom. Please remember, it can take up to seven working days for larger cheques to clear. Pass this on to Harry while you're at it when he's depositing the one from Lucasarts.

  • April 15, 2002, 3:23 p.m. CST

    great review mori!!!!-) but folks what about that shit of FIRING

    by drjones

  • April 15, 2002, 3:34 p.m. CST

    well, that sounds awesome

    by Dragonfire

    I'm not surprised about the effects though. I didn't think they looked very good in the trailer, but all the reviews I've read say the character work is good, which is what I'm more looking foward to in this film because I think spiderman's always had the most character out of all the super hero's. On the subject of superman though, just thinking about it, don't you hate it when you can't enjoy a film as much as you did when you were a kid. I remember going to my friend over and over again when I was around 8 years old to watch superman on video. It was one of my favourite movies. Then I saw it on TV about two or three years ago and it seemed so corny. Oh well, what can you do.

  • April 15, 2002, 3:45 p.m. CST

    Best Line

    by symphy

    "and you know what? Shut up." That just about sums up my opinions of the ultra negative for negative's sake "everything sucks" talkbacker. :) On a more helpful note, please keep in mind that neither Williams nor Elfman have written their own scores in years; it's done by committee, and a group of orchestrators and composers who Williams or Elfman oversee. The name is marketable, but usually only the main themes are hummed or sketched by the "composers". That's how they're able to crank out so many per year. I'm not saying that takes away from their involvement -- we still call something a "Steven Spielberg Film" even if hundreds of others actually did most of the work -- but just like Spielberg can't be held fully responsible for every aspect of a movie's good- or bad-ness, neither can Williams or Elfman be held fully responsible for a score's success or failure. They are overseers and guiders, but no longer sole artists.

  • April 15, 2002, 4 p.m. CST

    CGI Whiners--- you CAN put up or shut up

    by Zan-el

    Okay. Apparently those who can, do and those who can't whine about things they don't understand. There are now free demos of Maya and Lightwave for both Macs and PeeSeas. Learn the craft. Learn what's involved in compositing CGI over live action. You may discover a new talent, or you may discover that this is a lot harder than it appears to be and the practitioners of this black art should be respected. I would like to encourage anyone who is interested to download and try to create something with these tools. Who knows? You could find a way to craft "less fake" CGI

  • April 15, 2002, 4:03 p.m. CST


    by symphy

    ...I still maintain that even mediocre CGI looks 1,000 times better than any of the alternatives (puppets, miniatures, claymation...) :)

  • April 15, 2002, 4:06 p.m. CST

    You forgot Boondock Saints!

    by 007-11

    Willem Dafoe owned that movie. And I would still have liked to see Nikki Cox as MJ. Whatever, the movies gonna kick ass anyway.

  • April 15, 2002, 4:44 p.m. CST

    Spiderman, Spiderman, something something, spiderman

    by exPFCWintergreen

    I am SO not looking forward to this movie.......

  • April 15, 2002, 4:58 p.m. CST


    by darkwind77


  • April 15, 2002, 5:26 p.m. CST

    HA! HA! HA! HA!

    by Wallgrom

    Drew McWeeney a clairvoyant flack! Attack of the Fans Harry Knowles and the menace of generic movie love. By Stephen Metcalf Posted Monday, April 15, 2002, at 9:15 AM PT In case you haven't followed the Harry Knowles Passion play, you can catch up in his new book, Ain't It Cool? Hollywood's Redheaded Stepchild Speaks Out. Knowles was the twentysomething Texas shut-in who, back in the Web-frontier heyday, started a site called Ain't It Cool News, devoted to the comings and goings of Hollywood projects still in the pipeline. Ain't It Cool News was as much a forum for the outsized personality of its proprietor as for the network of enthusiasts who logged on to swap tidbits, speculate, swoon, and denounce. As such, AICN proved the perfect vehicle for that novel brand of humble vanity by which a courageous maverick (Matt Drudge, the Gardner brothers, Harry Knowles) founded a new media outlet (Drudge Report, Motley Fool, AICN) devoted to reforming a cherished American institution (journalism, finance, Hollywood) taken hostage by unaccountable elites by returning power to the people. Within a few years, AICN had an audience numbering in the millions, from which Knowles culled a "network of spies," as he calls it, to sneak into Hollywood test-screenings, vet early drafts of scripts for mega-projects, and purloin details of breakthrough special effects. (The network, Knowles tells us, is a hodgepodge of movie industry tattlers and AICN fans who slip into prerelease screenings.) Knowles had done nothing with his life if not nurture the Donkey-Kong-playing, smoke-bomb-throwing 14-year-old boy within, so it's no surprise that the most common type of film discussed on AICN is the multisensory turn-on, meant to bypass the brain on its way to jamming the nervous system. ("Ain't it cool" is a line from one such movie, the John Woo action flick Broken Arrow.) Knowles' Web site has created a prose appropriate to such movies: On AICN, the paragraphs pour forth like sweat off a prizefighter. One can only imagine the meetings Hollywood machers took when they got wind of Knowles' deviousness and the size of his audience: Should we woo or destroy? To appreciate how pressing this issue was for the studios, think of movie marketing as a battle between anticipation

  • April 15, 2002, 6:12 p.m. CST

    I have pubic lice...

    by Mr Chuff

    Sorry about the title...just wanted someone to read this....That review was probably the best review I've read on here. Now I'm not sad enough to know the differences between Mori and Chunky Knowles (except Knowles is a Ginger Jabba) but I guess Mori knows how to switch his caps lock off. I was strangelty indifferent about the spidey flick...I mean sure..I was going to see it but nothing had really sent a gust of wind up my trouser leg. This review has made me WANT to see this film. I've loved Spidey for years but not obsessively so and this flick looks like it might be what I hoped it would be

  • April 15, 2002, 6:43 p.m. CST

    Comic continuity

    by St Buggering

    I think the thing that needs to be understood is that there's no such thing as comics continuity, at least not in the long term. I personally believe that all comics should be considered "reset" every ten years or so. I mean, the death of Gwen Stacy happened in the sixties. Are we really saying that that event, and everything that came after, is really supposed to have happened to this character? And he's still in his twenties? Did the Fantastic Four really launch into orbit during the Russian/American space race? Did Iron Man go to Viet Nam? Clearly, for these characters to be considered modern, full continuity must be abandoned. And I'm okay with that. Hell, I'm pretty pumped that the people making the Spider-Man movie have the knowledge to even make visual reference to the Gwen Stacy storyline. To me, that shows that it's in the right hands.

  • April 15, 2002, 6:47 p.m. CST

    RE: flycollar

    by The Chucker

    yeah, I've been making that web shooter hand every five minutes for the last month. It's easy when ya get used to it. Also, on the Gwen Stacy thing, doesn't it make a little sense in a movie to have one good guy, one bad guy, and one love interest? They could save her for the sequel, it might be less confusing. Some of you hate me now. Hang loose!

  • April 15, 2002, 6:52 p.m. CST

    I did it!!

    by The Chucker

    That was my first talkback. How'd I do??

  • April 15, 2002, 7:07 p.m. CST


    by yeah i'm a jerk!

    sony still sucks ass for picking their toady band aerosmith to do the spiderman theme. the ramones did it better. the ramones are lemmy's favorite band. if they are good enough for lemmy then they are better than aerosmith! oh and other than this major complaint i'm excited to see this film. the fact that steve ditko has his name in the credits makes me happier than i can possibly believe. now if the producers of the x-men will just rectify the error of their ways and give jack kirby and stan lee credit at the beginning of the film instead of a special thanks at the bottom of the end credits.

  • April 15, 2002, 7:24 p.m. CST

    Harry Knowles: Fictional character cooked up by studio black op

    by Darth_Inedible

    Yes folks Harry Knowles is David Manning in a fat suit. Wake up and smell the BS, even Mori admits this in his own subtle way. "Harry" is bought and paid for by a certain studio conglomerate, the perfect virtual fanboi and hack cheerleader for their multi-billion dollar crap shooting game. His tubby physical manifestation is nothing more than a mass of latex foam and pneumatic tubing cooked up by Rob Bottin in a backroom during the last WGA strike. How obvious is this when you really think about it? When he was doing Ebert did you ever see Harry speak immediately after moving from a walking to a sitting position? No of course not, because they had to cut away while the suited operator was switched with the stationary "Harry" suite with it's finer lip synching capabilities. THIS IS THE BIGGEST IN-JOKE IN HOLLYWOOD PEOPLE! It's truly astounding that all of Harry's famous "friends"(Tarantino, Rodriguez, et al)have been able to keep things quiet this long.

  • April 15, 2002, 7:46 p.m. CST

    Alternative FX methods

    by MrPeanut

    I said it in the last TB, there is no way to make these action sequences without using CGI, which even at its best has always looked a little fake. DO you really want simplistic fight scenes that look like glorified boxing matches? I remember the old t.v. series mainly because nothing ever happened. There were no amazing web-slinging scenes, no building-busting fights. The only thing that really made it spider-man at all was the suit and the few scenes of him climbing on walls. Now people that we could try to do matrix-style mire work to make things look more "real". Please. Even if the stuntmen were willing to perform all kinds of contortions while harnessed to wires, they would still have to be superimposed over shots of NYC anyway. So you could either try to mesh the actor's movements with real shots, or create some digital buildings to mesh with the character's movements. Either way, it just makes more sense to use a digital character that can do whatever you want, rather than risking the lives of actors and stuntmen ony to achieve shots that would still look doctored anyway. Can you tell these shots are CGI? Yes! Should you care? Maybe if you wanted to hate this movie anyway, that will make enough of a difference. But I don't hate the matrix because all the "robot" scenes are obviously CGI. I don't hate Star Wars because some of the models and prosthetics are obvious. This is a comic-book movie, and if the CG loks slightly cartoonish, that's no worse than the overdone backgrounds in the first Batman movie, or the blatant blue-screen work on the first Superman movie. And anyone complaining about the web-shooters needs a reality check. Out of all the continuity issues, this one should be a non-issue. This movie is BASED on the books, not contractually obligated to quote tem word-for-word. If Sam Rami feels that its not necessary to have this high school kid come up with some kind of revolutionary propulsive adhesive AND the firing mechanism, that's fine. Or are we supposed to believe that Peter, besides being bitten by an irradiated spider and given super-poewrs rather than cancer, is also a brilliant chemist AND mechanical engineer all before he's even taken a college course. If he can get super-strength, agility, the ability to climb up walls and a "spider-sense" from the bite, then why not give him the ability to shoot webs too and just keep things simple. And for all the people lamenting Gwen Stacy, I can understand why you would want her in the film, but once again I must say that this is a new continuity independent of the original books, and some plot elements are going to change. Why is it even necessary for me to have to address these concerns. This is a movie we have been praying for for a LONG time, and now here it is , with the original costume intact, Mary Jane, Aunt May, JJJ, Robbie Robertson, the Osbournes, a huge budget, an original and talented director, respectable actors, and effects which so far look no better or worse than other recent films. If you want anything else, then you will be disappointed by every film of this kind that has ever been made. But if you fondly remember the original Superman or even were mildly amused by X-men, then you obviously have the capacity to watch a comic-book movie without anticipating Citizen Cane meets-the-Matrix-plus-Spider-Man. Don't take these things too seriously, like I just did by writing this unnecessarily long post. BTW, Moriarty, great fucking review.

  • April 15, 2002, 7:58 p.m. CST

    The Music In The Trailers

    by Crapiola

    Hey, Buddy.Lembeck! The music in the SPIDER-MAN trailers (and I see you noticed it in the PLANET OF THE APES trailers as well - and yes! it is the music after Moby's in the UNFAITHFUL trailer) is by a band/group/person/who-the-hell-knows called "E.S. Posthumus." You can only buy their music off their web site ( but it is available for download almost everywhere, if you get my drift. Great music. Definitely movie-like - all of their stuff. Which is why they've been all over trailers recently. BUT WHAT I WANT TO KNOW IS, who composed the great beat in the most recent 30-second TV promo for SPIDER-MAN (Destiny)? Great beat and a growing sense of urgency with some kind of voice sample. Great, great stuff. If that's from the actual movie (which I doubt), then this is a soundtrack I'm buying for sure. Oh, by the way - for all the Danny Elfman haters out there - stick it up your bunghole. John Williams is a movie-theme god, but Elfman isn't up there? My goodness, BATMAN? Iconic as hell! As recognizable as the STAR WARS theme. EDWARD SCISSORHANDS? Amazing. There isn't a movie that is as dependent on its theme as SCISSORHANDS. There simply isn't. And A NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS is an extraordinary achivement. Who doesn't know the themes for THE SIMPSONS and TALES FROM THE CRYPT and BEETLEJUICE!?!?!?!? And one of my personal favorite soundtrack to listen to in my car (YES, IN MY CAR!) is SCROOGED. I even count as one my favorites the themes from TO DIE FOR (a movie I despise) and MEN IN BLACK (such energy!). As far as his slacking off recently - do you realize he wrote the PLANET OF THE APES music? Do you dare question the brilliance of the main theme? I most recently heard many on the talk-backs love the music in SPIDER-MAN's first full trailer (the first with dialogue bits). That's the main theme of PLANET OF THE APES. Download it and give it a listen. And John Williams stole the crap out of Elfman for HARRY POTTER anyway. Okay, I'm done.

  • April 15, 2002, 8:05 p.m. CST

    Alas, X-men lacked a definitive theme also...

    by EL Duderino

    Sucks that the producers couldn't just find some brilliant composer out there to put together something nice for the film. I mean, is it impossible at this stage? Truly impossible? To keep with the Raimi continuity, just look at Army of Darkness. Though Joe Doluca did most of the music, Elfman was still brought in to do the March of the Dead Theme, and to me there isn't a significant hitch in the continuity of the movie's score. I'd LOVE LOVE LOVE to see James Newton Howard throw some stuff in there, or Jerry Goldsmith, who I think did some kickass music for Hollow Man's opening. IS IT REALLY IMPOSSIBLE AT THIS STAGE IN TIME FOR THE PRODUCERS TO THROW A LITTLE MORE MONEY INTO SPIDERMAN SO A DEFINITIVE THEME CAN BE PRODUCED? WASN'T HANZ ZIMMER COMPOSING GLADIATOR TILL THE VERY END OF PRODUCTION?!?! CAN SPIDERMAN'S THEME BE SAVED?!

  • April 15, 2002, 8:07 p.m. CST

    Steaming pile of cinematic trash

    by ihadproof

    I am very sorry to say that I heartily disagree with Moriarty's opinion of this film, although I am in the minority. I saw this movie last week. I went into Spider-Man with enormous expectations which may be why I was so let down. I read the comic books up until I was 13. I was a HUGE fan. I loved Spider-Man even more than X-Men. So first what did I like about this movie? Not much. I did like Kirsten Dunst. She was a bit on the flat side but ok overall. I do like Tobey McGuire's's how that performance is written that I dislike. What did I hate? First of all Sam Raimi should have in my opinion compared pictures. Look at Tim Burton's Batman. Look at Joel Schumacher's Batman & Robin. What's the difference? Time has shown that you can't make a movie just like the comic book. While this movie comes off a TON better than B&R, it still looks weak at times. "What would you prefer yellow spandex?" The fight sequences are notoriously obvious as complete CGI. I felt like I was watching a cartoon here not a live action movie. Spider-Man is notorious for his humor. That's the best part of the comic book. He did not crack a single joke throughout the movie. If you are gonna make it like the comic book can't you stay true? Lastly, the Green Goblin. The costume was AWESOME. Probably the best part of the movie. The problem then? HIs performance and cackle. Whenever I heard him cackle I cringed. It was once again like a cartoon. So in short I hated it. I was in the minority on this opinion so see it for yourself. Ihadproof

  • April 15, 2002, 8:18 p.m. CST

    fuck Aerosmith, except for toys in the attic

    by Virgil Sollozzo

    I agree . ramones are tight. fuck Aerosmith. Hair metal/ pop rock sucks it big, LONG LIVE PUNK ROCK!!

  • April 15, 2002, 8:29 p.m. CST

    Why reject MJ?

    by RickP66

    Speaking of being true to the comic---why would they have Peter Parker reject Mary Jane? In the comic books, he never showed a reluctance to enter into relationships even after Gwen Stacey was killed by the Green Goblin. It doesn't make a lot of sense to me and seems to be more a movie cliche than anything, which I find disappointing.

  • April 15, 2002, 8:33 p.m. CST

    DC needs to get off its ass and make a GREEN LANTERN movie.

    by TheMatarife

    Only way to fight back. Too much baggage on the Superman and Batman franchises to give them a fresh start, so they need to go with virgin territory, GREEN LANTERN. Maybe a Justice League movie instead. The Superman and Batman franchises are dead, no sense in trying to get them going for another 10 years for the memories of some of the failures to fade.

  • April 15, 2002, 9:01 p.m. CST

    Nondescript scoring is okay with me.

    by Christopher3

    Much as the "superhero theme" has been a part of the filmed comic book tradition, I think an unobtrusive score benefits Marvel superheroes to a greater extent than it did DC icons Superman and Batman. The Marvel guys--Spiderman in particular--are supposed to be one degree removed from reality, and I think it would detract from the quasi-realism of the character to have a blaring trumpet theme sound whenever he shows up. X-Men did fine without a hummable theme. James Newton Howard kicked seven different types of ass with his "Unbreakable" score, but the rest of the movie was so understated that you wouldn't understand it without the heroic music. P.S. The "Knowles is a Hoax" theory is one of the funniest things I've seen here. I half believe it. Too bad the "X-Files" is going off air; it would have made another great, jokey, self-referential story.

  • April 15, 2002, 9:22 p.m. CST

    Just Saw some CGI Shots From AOTC

    by MST3KPIMP

    I find it interesting that the SW geeks are attacking Spidey with so much venom.. After seeing clips I wouldnt be citing poor CGI since AOTC looks to be chock full of it.

  • Part of it is. Imagine Star Wars with a cheesy synthesizer soundtrack. Imagine Lord of the Rings with electric guitars blazing over the battle with the Cave Troll. Imagine Fast Times at Ridgemont High with a James Horner orchestral arrangement over its entirety. Duh.

  • April 15, 2002, 10:20 p.m. CST

    Damn, Moriarty - you've made me want to see this movie MORE

    by Smugbug

    Seriously. I thought I had a good idea of what possibly lays ahead for me on the big screen, come May 3rd. But after reading this, I have no ideal. I can' even invision it. I love it. I cannot wait. Spider-Man is gonna be on the big screen!

  • April 15, 2002, 10:26 p.m. CST

    Damn, Moriarty - you've made me want to see this movie MORE

    by Smugbug

    Seriously. I thought I had a good idea of what possibly lays ahead for me on the big screen, come May 3rd. But after reading this, I have no ideal. I can' even invision it. I love it. I cannot wait. Spider-Man is gonna be on the big screen!

  • April 16, 2002, 12:43 a.m. CST

    Thank you Mori

    by ShadowStyle

    I just like to say that I'm a fanboy of many years. I used to be just like the rest of the purist. Don't make any chages...but I've learned that change is sometime good. Damn people be happy that Spidey has finally made it to the big screen and in the right way. I've reads the reviews, I've follwed the hype I even watch the preview at least once a week on my computer and damn near cream in my shorts. Sam Raimey is the man, ever since I saw the first Darkman, Iwas saying Sam should make comic movies...Darkman is how they should have done the first Batman. But hey you can't have everything...I can't wait until May 3rd. (I hope I can get some passes to a sneak preview) I'll be there, basically people I'm saying stop all the bitching andgo enjoy the movie for what is SpiderMan realized.

  • April 16, 2002, 12:50 a.m. CST

    who doesn't have a spandex fetish?

    by MrPeanut

    It's just that most of are a little too chubby to wear our suits in public. Bitch tits and tight suits do not mix well, no matter how drunk you are.

  • April 16, 2002, 1:05 a.m. CST

    Shut the F#$k up already

    by ShadowStyle

    I though I was done, but the whiners won't allow it huh? CGI-CGI CG frikin I already. If your're gonna make a comic movie use it. It works already...I mean lets think about how real it would look to see someone truly fly, swing on a web or shoot beams from thier eyes. C'mon guys get over it and enjoy the films for what they are. Or would you like to go back to those crappy ass huge ropes from thee 70's t.v. version of Spidey...I guess I'm done now

  • April 16, 2002, 2:40 a.m. CST

    All you dopes complaining about CGI, there may not be as much of

    by Suicidal_Sith

    The whole CGI crazyness that has been flying around the last year or so is really puzzling to me. The SFX in the movies today is a factor of 10 better than when for instance Star Wars came out in '77, and ironically we seem to complain about SFX 10 times as much. Nobody bitched about Star Wars in '77...I know, because unlike 85 percent of you dopes that frequent this board...I was a teenager back then, I was actually around, I speak from experience. Nobody was running around yelling "Dude, that so totally looked like a model on a freeking wire man!" "Man, that was totally an obvious matte painting man, how freeking lame!" People are so much more picky now about SFX. It's like they go into a movie with the sole perpose of trying to pick out the individual effects. By the way don't anyone dare tell me that you don't notice the effects in the original Star Wars. They are so obvious it ain't even funny, only a moron would say the effects work looks more realistic. Everything had matte lines around it and all the creatures were dudes in rubber suits. Anyway back on the subject of CGI. The most recent movie to get lambasted by the infamous AICN Talk Backers would have to be LOTR. So many people bleeting about how everything in it looked totally CGI. Well, all you dolts who were bitching should go pick up a copy of the SFX trade publication Cinefex. Cinefex is an awsome quarterly. The article on LOTR is the most indepth piece on the movie to date and comes in at a book sized 54 pages in length!! It should surprise you to know that a vast majority of the stuff some of you were bitching about as poor CGI was actually miniatures (or bigatures as they came to be known since some of the miniature sets were to large to be built indoors.) The landscape of the battle with Sauron at the begining...a model. The great sceen of Mina Tirith at the begining of the movie when Gandalf rides from Hobbiton...a model. Rivendell...a huge model built in two sections and put an dollies. The door to Moria...full sized set. The Mines of Moria...mostly miniatures and some full sized sets (except for the shot of the pillars). The Bridge of Khazad-dum set was a miniature that was over 30 feet high and took up an entire soundstage. Lothlorien was a full sized set combined with a miniature (the miniature shows the upper levels of Lothlorien, and the shot where they are climbing the staircase to see Galadriel. The Lothlorien miniature was massive to say the least! Isengard was built in miniature and was so massive they had to build it outside. It was 60 feet across and the holes to the lower level were dug by bulldozer and models placed in the holes to give it depth. Basically what I am getting at here is that so many of you people were in histerics over the obvious CGI in LOTR, when in actuality it wasn't CGI at all. So I guess that most of you can't tell what is CGI and what isn't...which is really the whole damn idea now isn't it?

  • April 16, 2002, 2:48 a.m. CST

    You know what? Shut up that's what!

    by Regis Travolta

    "With great power comes great responsibility." "You're not Superman you know." "Let's roll!"

  • April 16, 2002, 3:39 a.m. CST

    Special Effects

    by Billy Talent

    Actually, 'Ster Wars' isn't really my bench mark. I'd hold up '2001' and 'Blade Runner' as the most beautiful effects films I've seen. Or 'Citizen Kane' for that matter. A model spaceship or a puppet or a guy dressed up in a monkey suit can have a physical, tactile presence. The digital alternative can appear thin and transparent, and it often clashes violently with the live action portions of a film. I'm not an expert on special effects, and I don't think that I should need to be; I know what looks good to me. I've gotten accustomed to cgi and I try not to let it ruin movies for me. Actually, I like B movie effects. I think Hollywood should go back to making grown up movies and put the fantasy/comic book movies back in the low budget realm. Make 'em lean, mean and dirty. I want Ang Lee to make more movies like 'Sense and Sensibility', 'The Ice Storm' and 'Ride With the Devil'. I prefer my pulp disreputable. Grain bears grain on every train.

  • April 16, 2002, 3:42 a.m. CST

    'Ster Wars'

    by Billy Talent

    'Star Wars'. Sorry.

  • April 16, 2002, 5:14 a.m. CST

    That moriarty sure can write a damn fine review

    by VirgilHilts

    seriously, it's much better than anything knowles has churned out.

  • April 16, 2002, 5:55 a.m. CST

    i gotta keep telling myself: this guy "doesn't think much" o

    by a goonie

    so although his Panic Room review is great, i have to be wary of this praise.

  • April 16, 2002, 6:06 a.m. CST


    by Fuckles

    This is the best. Not only is "Spider-man" opening May 3rd but (at least in Boston) "Dogtown and Z-Boys" opens the same day. On this day, the cinematic Gods will open a portal and reign down on us only the finest golden light with which to use when we project our celluloi- AW, FUCK IT! Fuckles needs a fifth of Jack, two Puerto Rican chicks, and about 5 of those lil' green chili & been burritos from your favorite grocer's freezer. Okay, okay, girls, now hop up on the Craftmatic, give me some of that "let's search for the man in the boat" style and front me some Big Pun rhymes while I do a keg stand . . .

  • April 16, 2002, 6:35 a.m. CST

    kirsten dunst's breasts are cgi

    by ItsOver

    Ok, so y'all can shut up now. Another rambling review.... glad that Mori enjoyed it though. I can't wait. ("such a big fan" i suppose....whatever.... do you think obese fanboys would bitch and moan more if the only movies being produced were merchany / ivory ones? Seems that Hollywood making a comic book or fantasy movie is a call to arms...)

  • April 16, 2002, 8:06 a.m. CST

    Nicholson's Joker overrated and hammy???

    by Frank_Serpico

    er.. how the fuck was the joker supposed to be played , Moriaty u dumb fuck ?? with nuance and restraint ? Oh yeah maybe we should have gotten DeNiro to play the joker intead of nicholson with his trademark subtle ( read : lazy ) style . That would have been wonderful

  • April 16, 2002, 9:33 a.m. CST

    No wonder more intelligent movies don't get made any

    by DannyOcean01

    If you treat films like Spiderman with such pretension then movie execs will think these kinds of films are enough to satisfy us. They're not. God first Blade 2 now this.

  • April 16, 2002, 9:44 a.m. CST


    by DannyOcean01

    You're right that line does suck, and M should realise that. Can't wait until he stops kissing ass and starts critiquing properly.

  • April 16, 2002, 11:01 a.m. CST

    Special Effects

    by Ernst Blofeld

    The main problem in Hollywood these days is the rush to meet deadlines. And the main thing that suffers becasue of that rush is the effects. If it wasn't for stupidly short deadlines, we wouldn't have been subjected to some of the 3rd rate effects seen in films such as The Mummy Returns and Harry Potter. The Scorpion King we see in the movie was delivered a week before the film went of to print - and that was performed by the geniuses at ILM - people who six years earlier had so convincingly created dinosaurs - that half the time we couldn't tell from models. It seems unfair to blame the effects people, they can perform miracles with money and time - witness A.I., or virtually any Robert Zemeckis film - they just aren't given it. I can still see Harry Potter 2 having decidely ropey effects due to the short time they have left. The release date is set before films are even started on. We already know that T3 will be July 4th weekend next year - that gives them time - but few others waste it. The Scorpion King will be poor (effects wise - can't comment otherwise, but I can guess) as well. Another problem is, as humans, we know how are body moves for any situation and to see it do things oddly, effects us more. The fight scene in Blade 2 (infront of the lights)looked so out of place - because none of the movememnts were entirely natural - and to me that takes away from the overall effect. I can see Spidey being the same - I just hope, like Drew says, that we are drawn into Peter's life enough, so we don't dwell on the effects for too long.

  • April 16, 2002, 11:13 a.m. CST

    Great uses of CGI in recent films:

    by Vegas

    First, keep in mind I'm talking about the EFFECT, so regardless of what you think of the stories in the three films mentioned, remember I am only referring to the effects. Best Use of CGI (obvious): ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE. Quite possibly the most seamless effects work to ever be made using compter graphics imaging. You KNOW that when that woman turns her head that seeing through it is a visual effect, and yet it is done with such skill and craftsmanship that it looks simply REAL. Best Use of CGI (not obvious): CAST AWAY. The island on which they shot certain scenes for the film had a shoreline with a tide that changed almost from hour to hour. It was impossible to maintain continuity with such rapid tides, so CGI was used to go back and "drown" certain dry areas to keep the shorelines constant. Also, trees were inserted into backgrounds to make the wind visually present, and clouds were inserted into various skies. Some of the marine life was also CGI. Most Clever Use of CGI: WAY OF THE GUN. Turns out they didn't have the rights to use any beer company's logo on the broken bottles in the fountain at the end of the film. Solution? Use plain glass bottles with no logos, then go back and digitally add labels to the bottles with CGI. And you would never have known if no one had told you. The problem is that CGI is only noticable when its bad, therefore the haters think that ALL CGI is bad. Truth is, it's often used for small details such as in WAY OF THE GUN, or to resolve continuity such as in CAST AWAY, and is done so well that no one ever knows that it is CGI. In short, the examples that would refute the arguments against CGI are never known to the public for the same reason that those examples ARE the best arguments FOR CGI. Irony.

  • April 16, 2002, 11:37 a.m. CST

    Danny Elfman's Folly

    by renpiti

    ARGH! Of all the things that would have to DETRACT from the film, I bemoan the fact that it had to be his score! I've been a follower of Danny's (and Oingo Boingo from back in their "Mystic Knights" days) for what seems like eons, and to find that he produced such a lacklustre effort in support of this film just galls me. It makes me wonder if he was the type of person to scoff at comics, and only undertook this project to pay bills. I'm saddened to see that he would even attempt this endeavor if his heart wasn't in it seems it must not have been according to your review. By the way, Marla speaks highly of you. :)

  • April 16, 2002, 11:50 a.m. CST

    A little thought...

    by Ernst Blofeld

    Surely the producers and writers knew there would be outcrys over the way things have been altered and changed for the film. they are dealing with something so close to many peoples hearts, that even slight changes are going to get their backs up. What amazes me the most, is that these changes made for the storyline seem just completely arbitrary and pointless. It's not as if the organic webshooters affect the story much, the other TBer was quite right in saying it's not stupid to believe a college boy could invent it. As for the lack of main characters and situations, it seems bizarre that the writer(s) would miss out on the oppurtunity to pack real emotional punches that define the character. I will never quite understand how the brain of a Hollywood writer works. They are self-satisfying hacks, who wish to impose their own mark on anything they touch. For sale on eBay - Akiva Goldsman's copy of Sylvia Nasar's book "A Beautiful Mind": mint condition, only opened once, hell, the spine isn't even cracked, page slightly folded on authors page so writer knows who to thank at oscars... PS How's the Mortal Kombat script coming Mori?

  • April 16, 2002, 12:16 p.m. CST

    Spider-Man.... SWINGS??

    by The Riot


  • April 16, 2002, 1:56 p.m. CST

    is this really better than "Casper"?

    by Hud

    boy, that was a movie.

  • April 16, 2002, 2:10 p.m. CST

    For an abridged version of Moriarity's review, click here.

    by MickNC

    The movie was great, the special effects were amazing, the cast was superb, can't wait for the next one. I think that summed up about a 4 hour read.

  • April 16, 2002, 5:57 p.m. CST

    Moriarty simply sets the gold standard for movie reviews

    by adrianmole

    Enough said

  • April 16, 2002, 6:28 p.m. CST

    evil dead 4

    by thesxybeast

    ive got the greatest premise to evil dead 4. Ash arrives back at the cabin in the morning, at which point two cops are arriving saying how some moonshiners have complained about noise, and they then see all the dead bodies and arrest ash, at which point he is tried and convicted and rushed off to maximum security prison where the evil dead finds him and turns all the other cons into evil dead and he groups up with three other cons who aren't guilty and the four wipe out the evil dead.

  • April 16, 2002, 6:29 p.m. CST

    The clerk, the spinners and relativity

    by DeweyTime

    To superhero: First, I'm not question the intelligence of high school kids, because there are some uber-smart ones out there, but Einstein developed the Theory of Relativity after getting his doctorate from the University of Zurich. He was far from uneducated. Just a minor point that I thought needed clarification. Second, in the realm of comics it's not implausible to develop organic anything when being bitten by radioactive anything.

  • April 16, 2002, 11:32 p.m. CST

    Special F/X

    by HOAXTER337

    You guys are all bitching about special effects; while I'm sitting here thinking 'Who gives a shit?' Special effects can be used to good effect, but IMHO i think that a good story and good acting are a shitload more important. Some movies (eg; Tomb Raider, Episode 1) have a Shitload of good effects but HORRIBLE HORRIBLE plot and acting. Acting and plot, if used well, can bring you into the story much better than Special Effects. Enough said.

  • April 16, 2002, 11:42 p.m. CST

    Special Effects

    by tangledupinblue

    In your heart of hearts, you all know that CGI has been a detriment to most movies. Do you honestly think Lucas's "improvements" to the original Star Wars films added much to their value? (Just thinking about that wretched song/dance number in Jabba's lair in Jedi makes me grimace with embarrasment.) CGI is ONLY useful when used to supplement a movie--not as a centerpiece. Movies in which you don't know it's even being used are best served. Cast Away, yes, even Jurassic Park--fine. Love it. Even, God help me for saying this, Titanic got it right. (Hated the movie, though--duh.) Really, do you think the effects in Phantom Menace, Mummy/Mummy Returns, or Spiderman are as enjoyable as, say, Star Trek Wrath of Khan or Superman I and II? Come on now. Which do you have fonder memories of--Khan or Phantom?

  • April 16, 2002, 11:45 p.m. CST

    Efffects, score, other things

    by EliCash

    Cgi is here to stay so we have to live with it. I do think that it will continue to get better and better as time goes by. And its REALLY dissapointing that Elfman's score in this film is getting the shaft by folks. To me music is what made Superman, Star Wars, E.T, and was the best thing in Batman. Spider-Man DESERVED a good score and by most accounts, Elfman failed it.

  • April 16, 2002, 11:56 p.m. CST

    You've got to be kidding me...

    by DoShutUp

    Seriously. Spiderman? Spiderman's tagline should be, "On May 3rd, lame gets a new definition".

  • April 17, 2002, 1:29 a.m. CST

    Sorry M, I'm not cheering yet

    by Messyjoe

    OK the review sounds good. But I don't like Dafoe or Dunst. One is an over-the-top type actor and Kirsten is just the wrong choice here. Tobey may save it because I feel his committment. Similar to Elijah in approach. Yet I feel a sense of dread that it will fall short somehow. Please, please let it work. I don't want to wait for 2 Towers to be recharged.

  • April 17, 2002, 6:22 a.m. CST

    Actually, Star Wars ANH effects WERE better...

    by RicardoLuv

    I think the misunderstanding comes when people say that the CGI looks fake what they really want to say is it looks bad. Yeah it ALWAYS looks fake, it's a SFX for crying out loud, but these effects look bad. They lack weight, they lack depth, they lack anything interesting. To use StarWars as an example, the matte paintings of Tattooine in ANH look good, but the mattes of Tattooine from ROJ look like doodoo, really stinky doodoo too. And I remember complaining about it at the time. They both look fake, one looks good and one looks bad.

  • April 17, 2002, 9:59 a.m. CST

    Thanks, Guys!

    by Buddy.Lembeck

    Especially Crapiola! I'm definitely going out and buying the POTA score, that music is great! It's too bad it won't be in Spider-Man as it works so great with the visuals in the trailer. Thanks for the info on E.S. Posthumous too! Love you, Smooshie!

  • April 17, 2002, 10 a.m. CST

    CGI vs Models!

    by Kielland

    My answer to tangledupinblue is that the effects in Khan was much better than those in Phantom Menace. Actually, the whole movie was lightyears better than TPM. As far as I see it, sfx reached their hight in the late eighties. Then CGI came along and lowered the standard considerably (remember 'The Last Starfighter' or 'Babylon 5'). The effects in 'Battlestar Galactica' are much more enjoyable than those in B5. The fact is that the worst piece of sfx in the SE Empire Strikes back is the new CGI work in Cloud City. What did they do to that Millenium Falcon model? It's too flat, and looks crap. I would be very happy if they went back to model works and puppets where that worked in the eighties (spaceships, Jabba etc) and just used CGI to make minor changes and effects that model works cant do convincingly (like dinosuars). By the way, have any of you seen the new CGI effects added to the last 'Doctor Who' DVD (The Ark in Space)? They're made by the BBC and are much better than the original models (new models would of course have been the best though :) ).

  • April 17, 2002, 10:32 a.m. CST


    by dmezei

    This review smacks so much of payola, I think I'm going to puke. Just like all of Harry's reviews. Everyone is obviously on the payola here. Don't forget folks, movies is big business first and foremost. This site is just a corrupted extension of the major studio marketing arms. NONE of these movies are classics, and oh, moriarity mentions 'continuity' like its some passing fad or something from another reviewer???? CONTINUITY is the bedrock of an enjoyable film. Harry needs a cynic on his 'payroll'. I volunteer!

  • April 17, 2002, 10:45 a.m. CST


    by LeeScoresby Go forth and gaze in wonder. Some thoughts: 1) Ernst Blofeld should shut the fuck up. That's right. Unless he's seen the film, then his opinion is useless, puerile and completely without basis in fact. 2) The line about NYer's was filmed before Sept. 11th. The tragedy of that event has given deeper meaning to it in Moriarty's eyes. I'd also be willing to bet a fair amount of money that those complaining about it don't even live in NYC. So, from someone who does: Shut the fuck up. It's a beautifully unintentional moment that made me smmile when I read it. It's true. You mess with one of us, you mess with all of us. A lot of NYC residents feel that way. Your PC concern is unfounded. The clips are pretty outstanding. CG, no CG, Web shooters, no web fav comic book hero from childhood has a big screen movie. And all that you pathetic, whining, anti-everything losers can do is bitch.

  • April 17, 2002, 12:41 p.m. CST

    Now I gotta see this thing... Damn it!

    by ttrim

    Great review, but you had to go and ruin it. I was all set to truly hate this silly movie (without spending money) and now you say the characters are good and Toby is good (most important of all - he was perfect in Wonderboys). Dafoe being awesome is believable. I was a huge fan of Live and Die in LA. The rest of his stuff is great as well. So now I have to spend another 25 bucks to see this "adaptation" - if it's another tomb raider, I will send the raging hordes with stakes for you and your coffin M. tt

  • April 17, 2002, 1:32 p.m. CST

    wake up and get your butts over to counting down .com!

    by hocispocis

    supercool clips of spiderman in action- low on the spoiler scale... ... damn it looks good!

  • April 17, 2002, 2:41 p.m. CST

    UK release

    by mattatron

    F**ckin A, this sounds almost as good as i had hoped, now all i need is a time machine to send me through to June 14th!

  • April 17, 2002, 3:10 p.m. CST

    But the real question is, did Elfman use an instrumental version

    by Sith Witch

    Kill him if he did not!

  • April 17, 2002, 6:56 p.m. CST

    Music from commercial

    by cannedpasta

    I don't want the "Pompeii" one, I need the title for the other song in the commercial... they're using if for Dodge now too.

  • April 17, 2002, 7:05 p.m. CST

    hey Martha_Campbell about the aspect ratio

    by Gentle_Fury

    dunno if you've noticed, but Sam Raimi is not a 2.35:1 fan, didnt use scope in army of darkness or evil dead 2, i dont believe The Gift was either. I think its his way of being more intimate with his characters, he LOVES closeups and fast camera moves......lets face it, its not The Sound Of Music, the important thing in the movie is the characters and everyone has seen NYC, i actually respect that decision, it takes more talent to make a really good movie in such a tight frame. I cant wait to see it!!! This movie is going to be quite lovely!

  • April 17, 2002, 11:02 p.m. CST

    The score's importance to a film is so underestimated-if the

    by Tarl_Cabot

    Spiderman may be more exciting and action packed and I certainly prefer Spiderman to Superman but John William's score is a masterpiece and Spiderman deserves no worse. why the hell didn't they hire him? sigh. Anyway, I can't wait for May 3. They can always get a new score next time out. Goldeneye had a shitty score but TND was great with David Arnold so let's hope Spiderman does the same...too bad I thought DE did a good job with 'Apes .Anyway, James Newton Howard, James Horner, Jerry Goldsmith or David Arnold should be an improvement.

  • April 17, 2002, 11:31 p.m. CST

    this movie will suck

    by fuck you

    I am soo boycotting Spider-Man. WHo's with me. I say we kill whoever was involved in this picture. CGI and bad costumes will ruin this movie. I can't give a fuck about characterization and plot.

  • April 17, 2002, 11:40 p.m. CST

    Your Review

    by ahorse

    As a courtesy I am informing you that I found you from a NYTimes article and I thoroughly agreed with your remarks about all other superhero films. I am anxious to see Spiderman, of course he is the ultimate hero. Thanks for your review it was very stimulating. I still haven't seen the teaser (trailer), I can't seem to find it on the web. Also, FYI I always wondered what the Excelsior! comment was at the end of marvel books and I see it is part of the NY state symbol when I drive over the GW bridge. Ever Upward!

  • April 18, 2002, 11:03 a.m. CST

    Themes (film score) Important in Movies?...

    by Nixumb

    Yes. There have been several complaints on the Spider-Man movie has a lack of themes or any. Well I'll have to agree that this movie needs musical themes. Danny Elfman, I would agree, is a very distinct artist and captures mood very well. A movie like this - having several major characters - could have been a great score. Imagine a love theme for Parker and Mary Jane. Elfman has done Batman with great effect. Except for a great main theme the score didn't really have other distinct themes. Though they do exist they are very subtle and more about the mood - as what the film was really trying to be, mood. Tim Burton and Elfman excel and are two great collaboraters because of this, both are about mood and environment in picture and score. What probably lacks is any real sense of mood in Spider-Man, which essentially is a comic book - very unlike the first two Batman films. I don't know who could pull off this score. Although Williams is probably the best for integrating themes with the story and having them play off each other as he's done in Star Wars and the Indiana Jones films, I think he would of made Spider-Man to grand and orchestrial -("It's intresting that he's recreating his sound with the electronic sounds of A.I. and the electric guitar of Attack of the Clones...Anyone else notice this?). My recommendation would be a younger artist, I thnk the trailers for this film were on the right track - an energetic and bold approach - possibly more electronic. Why doesn't Sam get back with Joe Lo Duca - could have been an interesting approach considering the great job he did on Army of Darkness. I wonder if Sam has found his composer with Elfman (as Spielberg with Williams, Howard with Horner, and Zemeckis with Silvestri) Just throwing around some thoughts.

  • April 18, 2002, 1:50 p.m. CST


    by KavMan Whacha guys think? A while ago wizard comics suggested Howie Long Guess he's tooo old now God don't let it be ARNOLD HAHAHAHHAHAHA BROCK LESNAR of the WWF would be perfect

  • April 18, 2002, 2:33 p.m. CST

    Spiderman, Schpiderman

    by Grand Digital

    The only comic book adaption I'm looking forward to is The Hulk, Ang Lee is truly talented and also clever. Go for it Ang Lee! Go for it!

  • April 18, 2002, 3:55 p.m. CST


    by CoolDan989

    You've just stumbled onto a valuable life lesson: never trust bootleg videotapes. It was probably from an early rough cut.

  • April 18, 2002, 3:56 p.m. CST

    es posthumus

    by Gavin 45

    These guys are great. I'm looking for the song "Nara" - it is the kickass intesne music used at the end of the "Unfaithful" trailer. I'm using a Mac and can't seem to find it anywhere on the net, can someone please point me in the right direction? Thanks!

  • April 18, 2002, 10:18 p.m. CST

    Losing faith in AICN

    by Roger49er

    Since reading the reviews here on the Blade II movie it kinda breaks my heart to hear the rave reviews of Spidey coming from the same source as the rave reviews of the WORST movie of the decade (Blade II). I've been looking forward to seeing Spiderman for soooo long. Now it looks like it's probably getting the false-hype routine. I really hope not but I've lost faith in AICN. My 2 cents.

  • April 18, 2002, 10:26 p.m. CST

    Spiderman swings? Hardly.

    by Knightwing2040

    Just kidding. I just wanted to be an ass. I'm looking forward to smelling some Spider funk.

  • April 18, 2002, 10:49 p.m. CST

    NEGATIVE REVIEW OF STAR WARS Ep.2!!!!! Click here for link

    by kubrick 101

    Once again, Harry gives a positve review to a shitty fan flick.

  • April 19, 2002, 2:10 a.m. CST

    Maybe Dat's Your Pwoblem Too

    by Ambrose Chappell

    This isn't related to the movie, but it is related to Spiderman. Check out James W. Hall's great poem, "Maybe Dat's Your Pwoblem Too" at

  • April 19, 2002, 3:12 a.m. CST

    I am very excited about this movie

    by Doctor Fate

    I hope this movie lives up to expectations. It looks very cool, and somewhat close to the comic. If you have not picked up the Spider-man antenna balls from Carls Jr.( a fast food chain on the west coat, I believe thay are called Hardees on the east coast) pick one up they are an above average promotional item.

  • April 19, 2002, 3:19 a.m. CST


    by Darth Melkor

    Somethingawful is a joke site and the reviews are meant to be completely awful to piss people off. Look at their LOTR review. They gave the plot a 1 out of 10 and said they were completely distracted by "that guy from the Matrix." There's a disclaimer on the site saying all the reviews are fake and are meant to aggravate fans of these franchises into sending hate mail just to get a rise.

  • April 19, 2002, 4:08 p.m. CST

    damn man u u r a powerful speaker. i want to see this movie soo

    by horsegrrrl

    the review kicked major butt and i just wanted to say that u have made me want to see this movie about an infinity times more. so, thanx dude......

  • April 19, 2002, 7:53 p.m. CST


    by YouStupidGeeks

    What the hell, some of us have actual lives and don't want to sit reading a movie review for 15 minutes... BTW PANIC ROOM ROCKED!!!!

  • April 20, 2002, 1:28 p.m. CST

    spaiderman reveiw

    by starski

    Should of had a 'Spoiler Warning',still after reading half of it, it sounds fat dude.

  • April 20, 2002, 3:02 p.m. CST

    Kevin Smith Hates Spiderman

    by Swarmy

    From DarkHorizons... "He stood up on stage and spoke for nearly four and a half hours, most of which was a bunch of Q & A that led him to talk about some really funny shit, the best dealing with his first date with his current wife, his hilarious friendship with Jason Mewes, and how Jon Peters wanted fighting Polar bears and an enormous spider to all be a part of Kevin's Superman draft. The most interesting tidbit of info came when asked about Spiderman and Daredevil. One kid asked if he saw Spiderman yet and if he thought it was good, to which he would only respond 'Yes, I saw Spiderman.' The kid asked again if he thought it was good, to which he replied once more, 'Yes, I saw Spiderman.'" Spiderman fans, prepare to be disapointed!

  • April 21, 2002, 12:47 a.m. CST

    An off topic bummer

    by Darth Melkor

    Layne Staley, lead singer of Alice in Chains, was found dead last night. Being a fan of theirs it's heart breaking. Not Kurt Cobain heart breaking, but still bad.

  • April 21, 2002, 3:08 a.m. CST


    by cheshirekat5865

    One is forced to wonder how many of those bitching about Danny Elfman's score have actually heard it. Could you guys find something a bit more substantial?

  • April 21, 2002, 12:21 p.m. CST

    Spider-man review by Moriarty

    by Mi10950655

    Your review was a delight. It was cogent, insightful and intelligent. I look forwrd to any further reviews and opinions you might have. I too, was angry that Mr. Raimi decided to use organic web spinners. I too, cringed and felt my stomach drop when I first saw the Green Goblin costume. But from I can see and tell I we Mr. Raimi a sincere and heartfelt apology. He nail it!!! Where others have consistently not-got-it, he did and does. As to our friends over at DC/Warner Brothers, it just goes to prove that does who rise to positions of power are not genius' and for the most part do not "merit" those positions.

  • April 21, 2002, 9 p.m. CST


    by u1030257

    This is my first time out to your planet. You're a breadth of freakin fresh air. Fun and informative review.

  • April 22, 2002, 2:18 a.m. CST

    Why Grimloch is so lonely. . .

    by jmerrick

    You're posting on a topic, and your Trekker(ie) tangent takes up more than 3/4 of the actual post. . .this should be a warning sign Grimloch. I'm a cyncial rouge myself, but even my shrivled, black, raisin of a heart sings when I see Spidey double-konking two Henchmen while backflipping through the air in true super style. Granted, in a world where Michael Bay gets $25,000,000 to furiously cram his ka-ka into my eye sockets for three hours, it's hard to lower the shields and really look forward to a movie. But isn't that all the more reason to try? I've been burned myself, believe me. I was one of the two people who were pissing their pants to see "Lost in Space." (Funny though, I don't remember why. . .Heather Graham? Probably.) But I digress, Grimloch, sometimes you have to go out, buy a bottle of wine and rent a movie from back in the good 'ol days (when you didn't have to sit through television commercials before your film would begin). A movie that you really connected with, be it Khan or not. Drink that wine. Watch that movie. Learn to love again. Filmmakers can't "earn" that from you if don't want to feel it. Cynicism should be a scar, not a medal.

  • April 22, 2002, 8:51 a.m. CST

    Why criticise Elfman but not Kamen?

    by darthflagg

    X-Men had the blandest score I've ever heard for a superhero movie, yet I don't remember Moriarty or anyone else complaining about Michael Kamen's work. At least Elfman has the excuse of being disheartened because his Spidey score is shoved in among a slew of poptunes. What was Kamen's excuse?

  • April 22, 2002, 11:59 a.m. CST

    Good review

    by WT

    I've seen too many unbalanced reviews of films, but this seems like somone's who's actually seen it rather than taking a backhander/sneering.

  • April 22, 2002, 12:22 p.m. CST

    theme to the trailer

    by oorat22

    hey guys, what was the name of the tune off one of the spiderman trailers, the first real trailer, it was a long techno tune, not the lunatic calm song, but the other techno one.

  • April 23, 2002, 7:16 a.m. CST

    spiderman movies made in 80s

    by bevis

    dont anyone remember that there were two spiderman movies made in early 1980s? hell, or is it just friggin' me alone remembers. i'm trying to get some info on them in the net, but cant seem to find it. does anyone know?

  • April 24, 2002, 6:14 p.m. CST

    Geesh, It's ONLY a Movie

    by Hate_Speech

    Cripes. This is gonna probably start another Geekazoid revolution like Star Warts did! Spidey toys, Spidey Cereal, Spidey Underwear, Spidey Spidey, Spidey Spidey Spidey Spidey SPam Spam Spam SPam SPAm SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM GLORIOUS SPAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  • April 25, 2002, 1:23 a.m. CST

    Epic review!

    by BONER4

    Brilliant! An epic review and I don't know jack or care much about Spiderman.

  • April 25, 2002, 4:18 a.m. CST

    Digital efx

    by SAVOIR_faire

    One more time folks: CG cannot make a film 'suck'. It can, however, help with suspension of disbelief when telling a story of extremely fantastic proportions. Some stunts are really prohibitively dangerous. There are some places you just can't take a 'copter. GET OVER IT. Good films will be made, with and without CG. We should all simply hope for more GOOD STORIES to make it to the screen. The efx are of little consequence, and you waste unnecessary breath debating them ad nauseum. Enjoy the ride May 3rd. Then come back and speak your mind about the efx...

  • April 26, 2002, 4:57 a.m. CST

    Shut up?

    by Logan Sandman

    Yo thanks for the great review and usually every movie you like...I Like...but as far as you telling the fans who dislike the organic webshooters to shut up...well YOU stfu. Just because thats what were given doesnt mean we have to like it. I personally think it sucks that he didnt build his own webshooters and if I choose to bitch about a fan of Spiderman for 20 years I will reserve that right thx.

  • April 27, 2002, 2:19 p.m. CST

    I've Figured It OUT!

    by Clonetrooper

    I know why Danny Elfman didn't write a great, on-targe, a-number-one, kicks ass thoughout the movie theme song! He didn't write it because he couldn't write it. There's already the PERFECT song for Spider-man and one small insignificant change made in the movie ruined it. Let's sing-along! SPider-man, Spider-man Does whatever a spider can Spins a Web, Any size Catches theives, just like flies Look out! Here comes the Spider-man. Is he strong? Listen Bub He's got radioactive blood Can he swing from a thread Take a look up over-head Hey there! There goes the Spider-man. At the Chill of Night At the scene of a crime Like a streak of light He'll arive just in time Spider-man, Spider-man Friendly Neighborhood Spider-man Wealth and Fame He's ignored Action is His reward To Him Life is just one big Bangup Wherever there's a Hang-Up You'll Find the Spider-man! But now It's not radio-active blood. It's Genetically Altered Blood. But THIS is my only complaint to the film.

  • April 28, 2002, 10:07 p.m. CST

    Re: Kamen and Elfman criticizations

    by KozmikPariah

    Actually, I dunno about Moriarty, but Harry said Kamen's was horrible in X-Men long ago. Later!

  • April 29, 2002, 1:25 a.m. CST


    by raymondpogi

    The soundtrack should have included RAMONES' version of the song 'SPIDERMAN' and that would be totally extra COOL and PUNK!

  • April 29, 2002, 4:03 a.m. CST

    New York-ian Crossovers

    by VulgarStare

    Now that Marvel seems to be pushing all their New York based Super Heroes, does that increase the possibilty of there ever being a crossover movie, similar to an annual or something like the Secret Wars? This isn't unheard of, right? I mean, in the comics their poppin' into each others stories all the time! Fantasic Four, The Punisher (no "Dult" Lundgren cameos), Spider-Man, Thor, etc; are all New Yorkers..... What do ya think?

  • April 29, 2002, 6:13 p.m. CST


    by mungo

    Koepp's the writer is he? This guy seems just a bit too prolififc these days. Are we sure he's not a script writing computer program? Are we to expect Spidey to encounter raptors and Panic rooms?!

  • Mort, thank you for your review, but you have to realize, Batman and Batman Returns were done under a true fantasy director, who also filmed the creepy side of adult hood vs Raimi's Spiderman teendom, which is a similar spin on Burtons directorial vision. Not to say Raimi is off base, but look, if it was not for Burton you would never have seen Batman animation even surface in the 90's. This film will not do anything new for the Spiderman animation world, because spiderman is already established, and hence, you can praise raimi as perfect but he is helming a ship that has set sail in the obtuse market world of spiderman already. I hate to tell you this, but your young man, and 13 years from now, there will be another comic film that will take theaters by storm, and some other young punk will phase you until you realize that its all good, each and every film release on superheros, not just one or the other, but until then, you will have to think of what towely told you, and work your life through superhero releases until you get a little older. Well, can't end without my childesh rant: Anybody want to go see spiderman high?

  • May 1, 2002, 3:46 p.m. CST

    Ah But was it better than Blade?

    by Brooklyn Bred

    And another thing, you mean to tell me that you picked up your girlfriend playing the Superman CD soundtrack and she still got in your car? She must be a dog! Or your car is a Bentley? Which one is it?

  • May 1, 2002, 10:57 p.m. CST

    the exhausting review

    by annemarie

    Hey! I haven't even read everyone else's what I'm-sure-are-clever comments -- but for the love of god! Moriarty (sp?) -- get to the point! You offered a great review...when you finally got there. I know it's Harry's bag to go on-and-on about random personal stuff, but you should not! Establish your own voice! I can't imagine that you would have the same exact inclination as Harry. Yeesch. It was WAY TOO LONG! Anywho, I'm very excited to see the film. I watched the cartoon as a youngin' after school. And, I'm one of those rare folks over 28 who have admired Tobey McGuire's acting. Yeah, he's subtle, but he's good. There ya go. Now, I'll check out all the other comments. Cheers!

  • May 1, 2002, 11:39 p.m. CST

    saw it tonight

    by Uga

    I saw it tonight, and this review is nothing more than wishful thinking. I have not seen a more generic, bland, empty-of-ideas movie in a long while. They simply took the blueprint of the first "Superman" movie and transplanted heroes. A major disappointment.

  • May 1, 2002, 11:40 p.m. CST


    by Uga

    And Dafoe's performance could possibly be the worst overacting in the history of cinema. Razzies, be prepared.

  • May 2, 2002, 12:18 a.m. CST

    dumb question

    by X7thsamuraiX

    Uh I am not trying to nitpick but I'm a bit confused about one thing. Now it will probably make sense once I see the movie, but what the heck, like we have anything better to do. Heh. The trailers I have seen show tiny black hairlike things growing out of peter's thumb. Is this how he wall crawls? It would make wallcrawling with shoes on almost immpossible. The comics makes his wallcrawling to be a form of static electricity, the contact controlled by concentration. Yeah ok then. I think it is cooler that Raimi went with the spiderbite giving powerrs that con in the form of organic enhancements. Works abit better I guess>

  • May 2, 2002, 4:54 a.m. CST

    What's with these posts?.

    by SAVOIR_faire

    Number one, why waste time dissecting how Mo' reviews a film? It's his column, if you don't like his style of writing, go to one of your other bookmarks! Childish stuff on these boards sometimes...And do not believe the haters, I saw the film tonight, and Moriarty is on the money. I didn't even mind the score as many others did. If you're looking to nit-pick the CG, then do it on the trailer, then shut up, see the film and enjoy a good story well told. That's what it's all about, fanheads. Stop depriving yourselves of the pleasure of being sucked into a story.

  • May 2, 2002, 9:55 a.m. CST

    Spiderman Another Review

    by google1

    I can

  • May 2, 2002, 4:13 p.m. CST

    Good review

    by jonnyb

    I just wanted to let you know I really enjoyed your review of the movie and characters. I do only have one gripe though. You should try to be a little more careful on information you let out. Most importantly the part about spiderman and mary jane not getting together. Other than that it was great.

  • May 2, 2002, 5:49 p.m. CST

    1980s Spidey

    by trader67

    Hey, I think Ted Danson from Cheers was Spiderman in the earlier movies.

  • May 2, 2002, 10:58 p.m. CST

    Spidersense TINGLING!!!!!!

    by gdelaney

    I just saw Spiderman,and I must admit it is simply the BEST superhero movie ever made. Everything from Peter's not-to-be intense love of Mary Jane to Spiderman's sheer joy at web-slinging. Every superhero movie from Christopher Reeves' SUPERMAN to XMEN and all the ones in between simply pale in comparison to absolutely capturing the essence of a character. Kudos to Sam Raimi,cast and crew--a special "two-thumbs-up" to Tobey Maguire. He perfectly nailed the character straight out of the box. Long live the Spider!!!!

  • May 3, 2002, 12:24 p.m. CST

    Spider-Man is ...

    by HAVOK-13

    Just got back from seeing it (morning showing in NYC) and all I have to say is ... AMAZING!!! I want to see it over and over. Can't wait for the sequel.

  • May 3, 2002, 4:47 p.m. CST

    Don't Believe the Hype

    by mack2002

    The SPIDER-MAN movie is exactly like BATMAN FOREVER without the obvious homosexual overtones. There is not one moment where the effects - technically fine as they are - are believable. SUPERMAN II's city street fight scene does look kinda cheesy, but at least requires a suspension of disbelief - that is SOME involvement on the part of the audience. When you are watching SPIDER-MAN, you are watching animated characters in a video game. And, come on, YOU KNOW IT. Whether you want to admit it or not - YOU'VE SEEN THIS STUFF BEFORE, right down to the weak funk music and hot-air balloons. The super-power thing as analogy to puberty is interesting only to those who are currently going through puberty probably. The villian is nothing more than a multiple personality stuffed into a Power Ranger costume. The hero's dilemma should be navigating the sometimes grey area between right and wrong, not hanging around waiting for his girlfriend to fall out of the millionth window. You got what you want - a technically well-made blockbuster, slavishly devoted to it's source material. There, you happy now?

  • May 3, 2002, 6:12 p.m. CST

    Half the so-called "critics" and viewers in this talk back are N

    by Iroquois_Pliskin

    Yes, they are. I'm sorry, but... half the people in these talkback that have "supposedly" seen the movie and bash it are "dumbassses". As for me, after viewing it, MY REVIEW!After waiting 3 hours in line to watch this movie(I swear HALF the island went to see it, hell I even think Schools closed because of the movie... this place is like Spidey-country!) I FINALLY got to watch it, wow... I was so happy, so excited, so sad, and so joyful!!! The movie was great and it lived up to my expectations. The only few annoyances: There are NO web shooters, its ALL organic(you dont see a SINGLE shot that includes mechanical shooters), the fights scenes do sometimes leave alot to be desired(the web slinging CG shots are more impressive IMO), and some of the shots... well, they look amateurish and too "Raimi", not Spidey(the opening credits and some shots were kinda dull, at 1st and some reminded me too much of "Darkman"). Though, the shots and the directing problems are rare only 3-4 in a 2 hour movie. My likes: The chemistry between Toby Macquire(which BTW, I still think the cartoons voice is 50 times better...), James Franco, Willem Dafoe and Cliff Robertson is WONDERFUL, esp. Willem and Toby, it's almost perfect how they pull off their relationship(in and out of costume). Willem EXCELS as Osborn, and he does a GREAT Goblin(it sounds ALMOST like the cartoon goblin). James Franco as Harry is great, it DOES feel like he IS Willem/Norman's son! His final shots In the cementary right after Osborn gets impaled, and I think he loses his "manhood" since it looks as if the bottom spike went straight through his... well, you know are really sad, seeing him mourn and tell Peter He's the only family he has(an almost exact same thing was spouted out by Osborn in his 2nd-last shot) and that he's going to get Spider-Man. But he pulls it off and he's great at doing it. Cliff Robertson as Ben Parker is great, even if he is on for only a few scenes(in total I think he spends only 15-20 minutes which is sad since that character would've been good in a few more scenes), his final scene with Toby almost made me cry... sad seeing Ben go, even if it is the BILLIONTH time i've seen/heard it, it STILL gets to ya(worse if you're a spidey fan). Kirsten doing MJ(which BTW, I think Raimi was fixated with he breasts during the entire movie seeing as how she has NO BRA during half the movie OR she just shows EVERYTHING off), well... she was good, I loved it, esp. her last shots with Peter, the only time she does get "emotional"(she tried too hard in some scenes, but thats not much of a problem, she still did a better job than any other ditzy blonde/redhead would've done), aside from those... the first 30 minutes or so of her in the movie... well, they're not all that great, maybe it's the fact that even though she does get some scenes they remind me too much of those lame teeny-bopper movies with whatsherface and Freddie Prinze Jr., oh well. It's not until Peter gets in-costume or Ben gets killed that Kirstens lines and scenes get better. J.K. Simmons, LOL... I'm so glad he pulled J.J. Jameson, his shots are INCREDIBLY funny! He's not in for comic relief, but.. DAMN! His lines are funny as HFIL! Some are witty, some are sarcastic they're perfect. I dunno if he could pull off a "dramatic" Jameson, but a sarcastic one he sure as hell CAN! Now, as for other characters... Ted and Bruce(Ted Raimi, Bruce Campbell) are just so damn great! I hope Ted comes back in the sequel, he was great as "Hoffman"(Jonah's "crony" or assistant), and Bruce.. well, he's ALWAYS great, hell, he is never really bad or "decent" he's always been able to pull off his roles, he's great at that. Macy Gray... i'm sorry, but... even ACTING she looks stoned out of her mind! UGH, why couldn't they have chosen a better perfomer? As for scenes and shots... like I said, the web slinging shots are PERFECT true to the comic, even if they do look CG. The final fight between spidey and goblin was awesome, though there WAS that shot where spideys costume gets torn up, it looks... meh, they do it in slow-mo and when it happens it just doesn't look pretty, or just doesn't look right at all(remember those cheesy shots where people get thrown in a centerfuge or get his with such power their face gets kinda distorted? EXACTLY like that). His shots with just plain old robbers or thiefs? Thats what really bums me, aside from less than a handful of scenes which last a few seconds, no more than 2 minutes(except for the scene with spidey chasing the guy who killed Ben), ordinary thiefs get LITTLE air time, there's a montage of shots of spidey taking out no more than a dozen or 2 baddies and it showing up on the news or the papers, but that doesn't last long and each scene is no more than 10-20 seconds. Overall the "montage" lasts no more than 5-10 minutes. The fight between Spidey and Bonesaw gets more time than it, hell the fight with Peter and Flash got more time! Sucks though. The best parts are without a doubt: Willem Dafoe, the final scene with Ben, Goblins last 15-25 minutes, and the web slinging shots. Overall: The movie gets a 9.7 out of 10, aside from some minor gripes, the movie is near perfect.

  • May 3, 2002, 6:19 p.m. CST

    Just heard this on CNN....

    by slone13

    A medical research group released a study today with some rather interesting findings. Apparently it's been scientifically proven that people who don't like the Spider-Man movie are vastly inferior to the rest of the world population in degrees of intelligence and social skills. In a related study they also mentioned that these same people wouldn't know a good movie if it hit them on the head.

  • May 3, 2002, 7:31 p.m. CST


    by WoodyStiffer

    Just saw the film this morning and it is AWESOME - the best comic book adaptation ever. On another topic - I think Harry's gonna eat his words on Scooby Doo - the trailer was very fun and it looks like they've done a good job with the property. GO SEE SPIDERMAN - YOU'LL BE GLAD YOU DID!!!

  • May 3, 2002, 8:17 p.m. CST

    To Sith Witch and Clonetrooper

    by avarik

    ...and anyone else who wished that Danny Elfman had used, adapted, or even alluded to the classic Spider-Man theme song. Why settle for an adaptation when you can have the real thing?? When you see the film, you gotta sit and watch the credits. ALL of the credits. To the end. Make the clean-up crew work around you. And if the theater turns on the lights and does not show the credits to the end, demand your money back. Your patience will be rewarded.

  • May 3, 2002, 8:40 p.m. CST

    Amazing..simply Amazing

    by LordDark

    Saw Spiderman at the first showing here. OMG! This is by far the best super hero movie ever made thus far. I want to see it again and again. Mcquire hit the nail on the head and Dafoe was brilliant. Anyone who disses this movie needs to have their head examined. The CGI was great too. Sure it was CGI, but hell, the action was so fast paced it wasnt even noticable to this viewer. You guys need to chill and just let the movie over take you instead of being so goddamm fucking picky.

  • May 3, 2002, 8:42 p.m. CST

    Oh yeah

    by LordDark

    The cameo song from the cartoon was so sweet. I hope you all caught it.

  • May 3, 2002, 8:51 p.m. CST

    And to Malexandria

    by LordDark

    Shut the fuck up yah dumb bitch. You can't review for shit. We refuse to visit your lame fucking ass website. You have an angle, you want to diss great movies in order to piss people off so they visit your site. But guess what? You fucking suck. You couldn't link pen to paper to write a well thought out, thought provoking review if your life depended on it, so fuck off and go back to school you fucking no talent fat slob. And your copy is in the mail biatch.

  • May 3, 2002, 11:02 p.m. CST

    Spiderman lays a giant turd..

    by Edwerd

    I was really looking forward to this movie. For those who want something that captures the comic book, maybe this does the trick. I don't hold the comic book in holy reverance like some here do. I wanted a kick ass movie and what I got was a very slow moving melodrama. The previous reviewer was correct the special effects were shitty and obvious. I don't know what kind of budget they had to work with here but the whole thing looked really cheesy and cheaply made. I had the same feeling, that I have seen all of this before. There is absolutely no suprises here. Added to the fact the movie is about 1/2 hr. longer then it needed to be. I guess if I was 7-9 years old I would think it was real cool!

  • May 3, 2002, 11:08 p.m. CST

    um, Where's The MAGIC?

    by Daytripper69

    What a mess! The movie, overall, dissappoints. There was no magic (like "Superman",) no intelligence (like "X-Men.") It was as if Koepp was writing for an unsophisticated audience. There wasn't enough tension in the battles; and the unconvincing Peter/MJ love scenes stalled the movie to a significant degree. The battle scenes were noisy and annoying, and called attention to themselves so much that James Joyce would not hesitate to call 'em pornographic. The only scenes that did work for me was the Norman dinner scene, the Uncle Ben scenes and maybe the wrestling scene. Better luck next time.

  • May 3, 2002, 11:15 p.m. CST

    I can't believe

    by symphy

    Really, honestly, can&#39;t believe that people didn&#39;t like this movie. I&#39;m convinced that 99% of people on this board who say that didn&#39;t like it have never seen it. Probably aren&#39;t old enough to drive yet and don&#39;t have older friends. <smirk> Seriously -- of COURSE it&#39;s the best comic book adaptation ever. Of COURSE it&#39;s better than any of the Superman or Batman movies. I&#39;ve seen it twice now and I just... I can&#39;t accept that there&#39;s anyone who honestly didn&#39;t think it was amazing.

  • May 3, 2002, 11:35 p.m. CST

    Why Blade II is better than Spider-Man:

    by Xocxoc

    I thought that subject would get your attention. There are two points that favor Spider-Man over Blade II - Tobey McGuire creates a more interesting super hero than Wesley Snipes, and the acting in S-M was overall better than B2. Other than that Blade 2 had a more original plot, had more consistent energy, had more and better surprises, and (dare I say it) more convincing special effects ... at half the budget. *** Often in comic book films, the first sequel is better than the first, because the first has to spend so much time on the hero&#39;s origin: Superman II is better than Superman: The Movie, Batman Returns is better than Batman, Blade 2 is better than Blade. With that in mind, it should be no surprise if Spider-Man 2 will be better. *** I give Spider-Man only a moderate recomendation (c+), my full review can be found at

  • May 4, 2002, 12:27 a.m. CST

    Albert Einsteen, you saw it....

    by Stilt-Man

    and are jerking off at the prospect of seeing it again while you write that it sucked. Every talk backer on this thread can see through your post, it just screams that you LOVED the movie.

  • May 4, 2002, 1:46 a.m. CST

    Spider-man kicked ass!!!

    by RogueScribner

    I can&#39;t believe there are negative comments on this talkback. I mean, I know not everyone is into every movie, but some people here have major problems with this film and I can&#39;t for the life of me understand where they are coming from. I&#39;m the type of person to be overly critical of movies, but I had very few problems with SPIDER-MAN. In fact, I would rank this as the 2nd best Superhero movie, behind only the first SUPERMAN. PROS: Tobey Maguire. He was the perfect Peter Parker/Spider-man. He owned this role. I&#39;m glad we didn&#39;t get stuck with a Freddie Prize, Jr. or somebody lame like that. Kirsten Dunst was HOT as hell in this flick. Especially in that alley scene. ;) The guy who played J. Jonah Jameson was a riot! He stole every scene he was in. Willem Dafoe was very good in his role. He played it just right. Sam Raimi was the perfect choice for this flick. His direction gave the movie half its energy. The action scenes were all cool, if not sometimes a little brief. But it&#39;s only a 2 hour movie so I guess they had to make cuts somewhere. The CG wasn&#39;t as bad as I feared it would be. I mean, it didn&#39;t all look perfect, but it never took away from the movie, IMO. I like how they took their time with the Spidey origin. It wasn&#39;t overly long, just long enough to do it right. And a lot of it was funny to boot! There wasn&#39;t a single character in the movie that got on my nerves. Everyone was cool. Humor plays a big part in this movie and it was done great. I was laughing my ass off many a time. The movie also gets pretty serious sometimes and that was done well, too. Especially towards the end when Spidey gets mad. LOOK OUT! CONS: I love Danny Elfman to death. But what the hell happened to him in this movie? It&#39;s not that his score was bad. It was good. For what it was. My question for him would be: where&#39;s the theme? Where&#39;s the melody the audience can rally behind? Where&#39;s Spider-man&#39;s I&#39;m-about-to-kick-some-ass music??? Everything I heard was like transition and subtheme music. He had it all but the main theme. Huh? I was very disappointed. Bruce Campbell&#39;s part should have been bigger!!! Well, I guess that&#39;s not really a con, but dammit, he&#39;s cool and I want more!!! =) I think Maryjane was put into jeopardy one too many times. As much as I loved watching the alley scene, it was a little redundant. I also wished that Norman Osborne&#39;s descent into insanity was fleshed out a little more. As good as Willem Dafoe acted, Norman was still pretty much a two dimensional character. But that&#39;s about it for my gripes. Overall I&#39;d give this movie 4 1/2 out of 5 stars! Excellent, excellent movie. I haven&#39;t been so jazzed over a movie since . . . 1999? Can that be right? Well, here&#39;s hoping that this movie starts the rest of the year off to a good start. Looking forward to Spider-man Strikes Back! L8r

  • May 4, 2002, 1:48 a.m. CST

    It&#39;s sad when a person disagrees and he&#39;s an idiot.

    by Bad Ash

    I loved Spiderman when I was young and was looking forward to this film. I&#39;m a Sam Raimi fan, have all the Evil Dead DVDs and even the new special edition Evil Dead but I felt he fell short. The first hour or so was a lot of fun. I enjoyed the character development but then the movie went flat in the middle. It didn&#39;t seem to have any momentum, no coherent pacing. It lurched from scene to scene without any dramatic buildup, squandering the good will generated in the first hour. I also didn&#39;t care for the look of the film. It looked cruddy and cheap even though it cost over a 100 million to make. Some of the shots were amateurish and dull and others beautiful. I liked the end but it just started out of nowhere and was far too short. The film begs for a better sequel. I don&#39;t know who to blame for the flaccid middle but some editing or a tightening of the script would&#39;ve helped immensely. I liked parts of Spiderman but it didn&#39;t gel as a whole for me. For me it was a definite mixed bag. I think it&#39;s sad when someone has a different opinion than yours and he&#39;s considered a complete idiot or an inferior person. It&#39;s an opinion!! It belongs to the individual. You won&#39;t like every movie I like and vice versa. That said there&#39;s probably some idiot out there who thought Life or Something Like It was the best movie ever. You should look at the reasoning behind the criticism not just dismiss the person&#39;s post out of hand.

  • May 4, 2002, 2:27 a.m. CST

    *thwip* *thwip*

    by james175

    ...don&#39;t just look at this, get off chair which probably has you butt print in it and go see this movie. Best movie ever? No way. Fun movie that reminds me that I once read comics 14 some odd years ago and one of them being Spider-Man. Oh heck yeah!! JJJ just eats up the scenes which are hilarious. And I have to admit the yelling out Parker does while web slinging is a great rush. Fun time which will hopefully setup a good series. Bring on The Lizard or Sandman now! Saaaaaaaay.. Vin Diesel as Sandman? Nah... but that&#39;s why I don&#39;t write movies! *thwip* *thwip*

  • May 4, 2002, 2:43 a.m. CST

    yeah, whatever...

    by matt981

    the movie rocked... it was simply amazing and such a blast to watch, from start to finish. the green goblin costume sucked? gimme a break, think about how lame the green goblin would look in a movie made today with a body-tight green suit and purple tights over that. same reason why x-men got new costumes... because the spandex doesn&#39;t work and it wouldn&#39;t made the goblin look dumb. as for dafoe for the part, he was awesome... great acting on his part and the whole split personality thing was acted out fairly well. other actors... tobey was great as spider-man... he&#39;s funny, he&#39;s witty and charismatic... he&#39;s perfect for peter parker. same goes for dunst... and hell, all of the casting was great. the movie simply kicked my ass... but that&#39;s just my opinion, i&#39;m not expecting any of you nay-sayers to accept it. of course, all of you are too high and mighty to say that liked spider-man... after all, the cg looked choppy! you could all do so much better! the costume? i&#39;m sure if i handed you guys a bunch of materials and the props for it, you&#39;d make a goblin a million times better! oh, and criticizing acting is OKAY... because we all know that you&#39;ve been on the big screen before and you&#39;ve done so much better than everybody else! side note... the ending was GREAT (SLIGHT SPOILER). having harry say that he&#39;ll have revenge on spider-man was such a great moment... because as if anybody who has read the comic knows, harry eventually ends up becoming the new green goblin. will we see it in another movie? doubtful, since i&#39;m sure the studio wants new villains... but hey, i thought it was really cool.

  • May 4, 2002, 2:56 a.m. CST

    on another note, spider-man trailers...

    by matt981

    some good trailers on this movie, by the way... THE HULK. whoa, whoa, WHOA. it was soooooo short, but so friggin&#39; intense... i loved it. after seeing it, i just whispered "that was awesome..." and my girlfriend looked a bit confused since she doesn&#39;t read comics, she doesn&#39;t know much about the hulk, and the trailer was really short and simple. but i just thought it was damn sweet... xxx? former criminal turned secret agent, eh? looks cheesy, but it should be a fun watch. minority report... looks damn good. the sum of all fears... looks really really good. yeahh.

  • May 4, 2002, 3:52 a.m. CST


    by BudWhite

    Spiderman is very entertaining, but is deeply flawed. It has some of the worst cliched moments and some bad, bad dialogue. Poor Kirsten, she had some terrible lines to say. I don&#39;t think David Koepp spent too long on this script. It is in NO WAY better than the Batman films, or X-Men. Personally, I think Blade is still the best comic-book film.

  • May 4, 2002, 4:06 a.m. CST

    Spiderman swings, but only as Peter Parker

    by bruin8UCLAp

    I really liked this film! I saw a special 35mm print at a screen that was once used to show IMAX films. Unlike other films I had seen on the IMAX screen, this one filled the entire screen!!! (Anyone else see a 35mm showing?) Still, while I would give the first half of the film an A+, I would have to give the second half of the movie a strong B. The way Raimi sets up the legend of how Peter discovers that he has superhuman powers is pitch perfect. The relationship between Peter and Uncle Ben

  • May 4, 2002, 6:13 a.m. CST

    Why Ebert is nuts!

    by Gregzero

    What is it with this guy? First he knocks Lord of the Rings for not having enough hobbits. Why? "Mr. Expert" stated that he had "read the books" and that the hobbits were much better represented in that medium. Apparently, the movie had too much action and not enough hobbits. (The book is super-big and would be FAR MORE than 3 hours had Peter Jackson put every single page in that movie.) So when I read the Spider-Man review Mr. Ebert wrote I was kinda irritated. Once again, Mr. Ebert is an "expert" on the subject because he "read the comic book." Then he goes on to basically rip on the physics of Spider-Man&#39;s movement, as if that were substantial reason for a negative review. He says that the film doesn&#39;t have the same "sense of gravity" as the comic book. How in the world are you supposed to sense gravity off of a freakin&#39; two-dimensional STATIC PICTURE?!!! (And all this from a man who defends the "popcorn movie!") Disbelief must be suspended in order to swallow the premise. After all, it&#39;s all fantasy! I imagine I&#39;m not through hearing all the gripes about the CGI not looking real enough in this movie. But can&#39;t we look past that? Sure, it&#39;s all smoke and mirrors, duh, nobody can REALLY move that way. It&#39;s this suspension of disbelief that is the qualifier for a truly GOOD popcorn movie. Let us just thank GOD the script doesn&#39;t insult us and that the acting transcends first rate. And the ending of the movie? I can&#39;t speak for Mr. Ebert, but probably the most refreshing moment in the movie is when the hero forgoes the girl until some future time when he can balance his responsibilities as a hero with those of his private life. Where I come from, it&#39;s called "realistic priorities."

  • May 4, 2002, 6:56 a.m. CST

    Right frame of mind for Spidey!!

    by Darko Kerim

    As I watched the movie, there were a few scenes at which I thought "how corny" or something similar. However, remembering what I was watching, a Marvel comic-based flick, I quickly learned to accept those little deficiencies and enjoy it! It was very good...a FUN watch at the least. Some of the best scenes were when Parker was learning about all his powers and how to use them. The fight scenes were nice and physical with goblin, so what else was I expecting? Nothing...I had a great time.

  • May 4, 2002, 9:02 a.m. CST

    Danny Elfman&#39;s main theme is terrific!!!

    by _pi_

    Are you people def? I&#39;m sitting here, listening to the main theme from Spider-Man and I simply love it! It&#39;s Elfman&#39;s best in years!

  • May 4, 2002, 9:04 a.m. CST

    Way to go, Spidey!

    by Veidt

    Easily swings past Superman, Batman and X-Men. All of those were good films in their own right and Spider-Man is not entirely without its flaws but it still kicks ass. They got it right and then some.

  • May 4, 2002, 10:17 a.m. CST

    Love Raimi, big time Spidey fan, but...

    by ZakChase

    I must say I was somewhat disappointed by the movie, which I though was good but nowhere near the exemplary level of the first two "Superman"s or "X-Men." The first hour was spot on, but things went sour from there. I REALLY hate the fact that Raimi and Koepp decided to skip over Parker actually BECOMING "Spider-Man." When you see the movie -- one minute Peter is a guy with super powers and a dead uncle, trying to figure out what to do with his abilities, and the next minute he&#39;s a New York sensation that everybody on the street is talking about. What the fuck is up with that? Where&#39;s the superhero learning curve? Tobey, Willem and Kirsten were all OK, but the characters didn&#39;t feel right on to me. You know how when you saw "X-Men," and you felt like you weren&#39;t watching an actor playing Wolverine but were actually watching Wolverine himself? Or how Ian McKellen doesn&#39;t play Gandalf, he IS Gandalf. You WILL NOT get that feeling with "Spider-Man." The CGI wildly varies from one scene to the next. And I HATE having everything spelled out for me. (For example, Harry&#39;s ridiculous "Spider-Man will pay! I swear on my father&#39;s grave, Spider-Man will pay!!!!) Jesus, have some restraint. My suggestion for the sequel: keep Raimi, but hire Brian Michael Bendis to put together a better script. Oh, and Philip Seymore Hoffman as Dock Ock.

  • May 4, 2002, noon CST

    Slander,libel,STOP your&#39;e both right!

    by TSMinN.Y.

    Hey Elfman you suck.Somebody please name a major event movie in the last 10 years with more forgetable music.Puhleaze!!!J.K. Simmons was great.A laugh fuckin&#39; riot.Thanx 4 the Betty Brant cameo,shades of Jubilee in X-Men!Personally I would have prefered mechanical web shooters but it could of ended up a million times worse lookin&#39;!The CGI also wasn&#39;t as bad as it could of been in comparison to BLADE II.When it was bad it was really obvious but it was good it was great.When I saw it yesterday everyone yelled "It&#39;s the goblin you a**hole!" when Spidey went back into the burning building.I fuckin&#39; cracked up.It was like going to a Friday the 13th movie back in the day.Priceless!Also the Goblin mask looked like a expensive Mighty Morphing Power Rangers prop.The stance that spandex costumes don&#39;t work(ex. X-Men)has merit,BUT in future can HOLLYWOOD try to find a happy medium between what would have been a cheap rubber mask a long time ago(which it was when the character was created back in the begining of the comics&#39; run)and what they used in the movie which I personally did not like.

  • May 4, 2002, 12:50 p.m. CST

    I was Amazingly Underwhelmed

    by odietamo

    I&#39;d see it to have seen it. But don&#39;t go in with expectations. While the CGI Spidey is great, the Goblin looked stupid, the romantic dialogue was so painfully forced I was in agony and the final fight is dull and anticlimactic. The ending, especially, was silly and unnecesarry. This entire film was, at best, a set up for the trilogy, which is inexcusable. // Again, worth seeing to have seen it, but don&#39;t go in with any expectations.

  • May 4, 2002, 1:55 p.m. CST

    spidey wipes out potter!! amazing!

    by pparker

    Spider-Man grossed a whopping $41.4 million on Friday, according to estimates. That&#39;s by far the biggest day ever in Hollywood history, shattering Harry Potter&#39;s $32.3 million opening day record and Potter&#39;s $33.5 million single day record. Spidey is now on course to top Potter&#39;s $90.3 million to have the biggest opening weekend ever, likely becoming the first movie to top $100 million in a single weekend.

  • May 4, 2002, 1:59 p.m. CST

    Slander?Libel?Stop you&#39;re both right.

    by TSMinN.Y.

    Hey Elfman eat me!You&#39;re score for this this flick both sucked and blew!Which I did not think was even possible!J.K. Simmons was fuckin&#39; great as J.J.Jameson.Raimi thanx for the Betty Brant cameo,shades of Jubilee in X-Men.Tobey did not come off as a complete pussy so I was pleasently suprised.Kirsten Dunce oops I mean Dunst only saving grace was her performance at the end of the movie.Willem Dafoe thankfully did not pull a Jack Nicholson thank GOD!!!Tho there were a few JOKER like flashes in his performance but over all he was good.James Franco keep waitin&#39; 4 that Freaks and Geeks big screen treatment you poser!UGH!Dude is it me or is Randy Macho Man Savage really old?!?!?Funny SPIDEY movie moment:When Spidey goes back into the burning building for what he thinks is another "trapped person" everybody in the theater yelled "It&#39;s the Goblin ya asshole!".PRICELESS!!!!It was like seeing a Friday the 13th flick back in the day!Oh,and another thing the Goblin costume.Is it me or did it look like something from an expensive Mighty Morphin Power Rangers movie(if there ever was/is one).Come on!The stance on spandex costumes is a valid one(ex. X-Men),BUT can&#39;t HOLLYWOOD find a happy medium between a cheap Holloween costume(which the costume was when the character was created way back when)and what was actually used in the movie,which by the way I strongly disliked.In conculsion not a bad outing for this first in an almost definite franchise. 3&1/4 webs out of 4.P.S. Ang Lee&#39;s HULK trailer:I can already see how true to the source material he is gonna be.May whatever God he belives in have mercy on his soul!Bixby is spinning,spinning I tell ya!

  • May 4, 2002, 2:36 p.m. CST

    Hokey smokes! What a rush!

    by Captain Gorn

    In just one word, I think that this SPIDER-MAN film is exhilarating. I&#39;m 43 and it made me feel like a kid at the movies again. It doesn&#39;t match the majesty of the first SUPERMAN film, but I felt it was a much better ride than X-MEN and the first BATMAN. I like all of these other superhero flicks just fine, but this Spidey film definitely has a charm all its own -- just like the Marvel series of comics I read throughout the late 60s and early 70s. What a rush! Which brings me to some of the problems with SPIDER-MAN: the screenplay is very efficient -- perhaps too efficient. Characterization is indeed "on the fly," but we need another scene between Uncle Ben and Peter. It is crucial to have this relationship firmly established, and this surrogate father-figure needs more than just one line of dialogue thrown back at him to achieve something akin to this. Sure, the CGI is sloppy in certain scenes. The rotund Ebert mentions a problem involving the portrayal of weight and gravity in a realistic manner here, but this is not unique to just this film: this has been a recurring problem since JURASSIC PARK. However, the rotund Ebert doesn&#39;t &#39;get&#39; the film&#39;s ending and this automatically robs him of all credibility in his review. As far as how I feel about the FX, the CGI can always be improved later down the road -- in other words, it didn&#39;t absolutely ruin the &#39;Spidey experience&#39; for me. I truly enjoyed all of the actors. I think this acting ensemble matched the first SUPERMAN film. I didn&#39;t find a single false note in any of the performances. Kirsten Dunst wouldn&#39;t have been my choice for MJ, but her portrayal is endearing and very sweet and ... I bought it. ( That scene in the rain was soooo fine, but what about those gams when she&#39;s wearing that waitress outfit? Best set of legs I&#39;ve seen on the silver screen since that chick in FRANTIC ). SPIDER-MAN is quite the thrill ride and I&#39;m going back to see this flick a few more times before Ep. II is released. Heck, if it weren&#39;t for my tight schedule this weekend, I would have gone back in right after my first matinee screening! I think that&#39;s the highest praise I can give to this film. For the sequel, I want the villain to be The Lizard. Doc Ock is an excellent choice, but I&#39;m rather biased when it comes to lizards. &#39;Nuff said!

  • Once as an adaptation and once as a stand alone film. As an adaptation it is fucking outstanding! This is truly a comic book come to life. The complaints that I have seen so far are for the most part the same complaints that could be made about the original Spiderman comics. This isn&#39;t Tolstoy people its a fucking comic book. You expect a little hokey dialog and melodrama. Thats part of its charm. The choppy action scenes of Spidey catching criminals is straight out of the comics. Then we get the complaint that the CGI doesn&#39;t look real. As compared to what? Is there anybody out there who&#39;s actually seen a man with the proportionate strength and speed of a spider swinging by a thread through New York City? Can you tell its CGI? Sure. Is that really how Spiderman would look or move? How the fuck should I know. All I do know is it worked for me and did not detract from the film. As a stand alone film I can see where some people would have problems with it. Its not "Gone With The Wind" by any stretch of the imagination. There are alot of people who seem to be put off by the way the film was cut and the script. I believe that this film was intentionally made to be a live action comic book and not a film about a comic book character. Its editing ,pacing and script reflect this. As far as I&#39;m concerned Sam Raimi did an outstanding job of bringing a comic book to life. It was a ball to watch and that was after all the whole point. Swavill

  • May 4, 2002, 5:43 p.m. CST

    u geeks actually liked this movie?

    by liquid

    look, i WANT to be a geek...maybe i&#39;m just a wannabe geek... 1)goblin with his mouth...looked menacing at first, until he doesnt really talk out it...then it just looks supremely goofy...& keep the eyeshields on, & dont make them freaking yellow!...almost as bad as lucas&#39; yellow flying ships in TPM 2)spidey getting "paralyzed" goblin says, "look, i can kill u right now, but i wanna give u some time to think over joining me"...& then later, goblin opines "gee, he&#39;s invincible"...yeah, apparently 3)when peter gives his "great speech"(which i liked)to mary jane(in the hospital room)...she just look tired & haggard...not lovely or rapturous 4)tobey was just about as wimpy as i thought he&#39;d be, which almost works for parker...but as spidey, with that tinny voice coming out of a badass looking, no thanks spideyboy? 5)whats up with goblin getting stabbed in the crotch...? KNOW theyll be kids there...i could almost HEAR the parents cringing... 6)the lovely kiss, when spidey&#39;s upside down...I liked it...but it was a bit much, again, for a borderline kid&#39;s flick...let&#39;s admit it...a comic book hero movie has to appeal everywhere...not just to the average 27 year old geek 7)the fight scenes...what fight scenes...? about boring & so many ways... 8)franco shouldve been parker...hell, put him in glasses, & he&#39;s "goofy enough", just like hollywood does with pretty girls...but as spidey, i betcha he wouldnt have been "poisoned" like some 60&#39;s batman hero, carried away by the villian like a freaking damsel... 9)the goblin laugh was so thin, grating, & cartoonish...other than that, dafoe ruled... 10)mary jane sure did turn out to be weak at the end, huh(some object of desire...if she didnt live next door since he was an impressionable young boy...would he still care?)...i mean, during the "hanging sequence"(when the box car & her are hanging in the balance)...she didnt impress me at all as a character..."i just cant do it!!!"...although, *gee*, she sure was fortuitous catching the rail as she fell...are u serious...? heck, that whole scene was not good... ---sorry kids if i expected greatness...u guys who loved it were just happy u werent disappointed...or u have fairly low standards for your art & entertainment---

  • May 4, 2002, 7:28 p.m. CST

    Spiderman as LAME as it gets

    by 9000rpm

    Add it up: take one comatose Tobey Maguire, an irritating friend, a hard to look at girlfriend (sorry, Kirsten Dunst&#39;s face looked like it weighed 100lbs all by itself), a joke of a villian (who came up with the ridiculous mask?), uninspired music (my son turned to me about two minutes into the film and said, "Danny Elfman - bad choice"), the lamest, most predictable and boring story imaginable (another tortured teenager who looses a parental figure and has to &#39;go it alone&#39;), one stale scene after another (the same old teenager picked on in the school cafeteria, beating up street thugs, the bedside vigil, the picked on teenager), the &#39;live your dreams - become an actress&#39; scene, the girlfriend comes from a bad home (insert refernce to Forrest Gump,and a 1000 others), and on and on and on. The only person with a native IQ greater than Forrest Gump that could like Spiderman must have been locked in a deep hole all their lives and never allowed to see a single other film. Kevin Smith was right!

  • May 4, 2002, 9:42 p.m. CST


    by castlemondo

    Saw spiderman on opening day. Man, I&#39;m glad I bought my ticket a week ago. All the shows were sold out, and I could see why. I&#39;ve been reading the forums for quite a bit and despite a lot of the bitching that you always get from the fans and the haters, i decided to see the picture for myself. I grew up reading comic books and spiderman was no exception. And you know what? The movie was worth the money. It had the orgin story...and those are always risky stories to tell for a first outting. But rami and company did a fine job. They delivered. The final battle between spidey and gobby was sick. It made me feel sick. I have never seen a fight so brutal between hero and villian ( in recent memory ) Every punch, every scream of agony was well delivered. I&#39;m sorry to say it, but spidey got his ass tore up by the green goblin. I felt sorry for him. Willam dafoe was nasty in that film. What i like about the goblin, is that when he kills some one, he doesn&#39;t procrasinate like the joker did in Batman. He takes care of the problem swiftly. Tobey did an excellent job. hell&#39; the entire cast delivered. Well, I hope the next film has The lizard in it or doctor octapus. I do not want to see the black alien costume in a spiderman movie until at least the third flick, but venom can show up in the forth flick. And the crowd went nuts for the teaser for the Hulk. Oh, who said that the brightly clad superhero fad was history? So, I am giving spiderman three and a half cocoons. Better than Batman, but Superman:The Movie still ranks as my favorite superhero movie.

  • May 4, 2002, 9:57 p.m. CST

    Spider-Man NOT better than X-Men

    by MaximUltra

    I&#39;m sorry, Spider-Man was good, but once he put on the "official" Spidey outfit, the movie (and dialogue) got really campy. Overall, it was a good movie, but X-Men was way better. After seeing X-Men, I wanted to get right back in line and see it again. Spider-Man I MIGHT go see again, but with EP 2 coming up I&#39;ve gotta save my dough. I will say that Spider-Man was actually better than I thought it was going to be, because I was expecting it to totally tank. Tobey Maguire was great as Peter Parker, but as Spider-Man, he just didn&#39;t do it for me. Maybe it was the dialogue they had for him, or maybe it was the fact that he didn&#39;t change his voice AT ALL while in the suit. Kirsten Dunst just doesn&#39;t do it for me period. If they weren&#39;t concerned with finding a redhead, there were way hotter actresses they could have casted in the role of Mary Jane. She&#39;s supposed to end up being like Cindy Crawford for God&#39;s sake, and Kirsten Dunst certainly is not Cindy Crawford. Willem Defoe was great as the Green Goblin, but they better cast someone else as Harry Osborn, because I can&#39;t see James Franco taking over the role in a future episode. X-Men was a better movie because it took itself seriously, something that Spider-Man does not do. It&#39;s a good movie, but sometimes slips into camp mode. #1 thing Sam Raimi needs for the next movie? A new screenwriter. How about they tap Brian Michael Bendis, writer on Ultimate Spider-Man and Powers (The two best comic books on the market, period)? Or hell, how about Kevin Smith? He&#39;s only going to be writing the damn book the movie&#39;s based on.

  • May 5, 2002, 9:48 a.m. CST

    Why don&#39;t you give the whole movie away?

    by warrenpeace

    The script is terrible! I have a good suspension of disbelief when seeing films. It is because of this that I end up enjoying them more than most people. This script had me rolling my eyes every five minutes and got in the way of good performances that could have been great performances. It was hokey and low quality banter that made comic book writing look like Shakespeare. I thought perhaps that Koepp was going for an effect, by writing comic book &#39;thought bubble&#39; type of dialogue, but it just comes off as ridiculous. No one talks like that. The look of the film was mediocre. The web-swinging and jumping from building to building was done very well, but the rest looked bland. Lacked any style that made Batman and X-Men appreciated.

  • May 5, 2002, 1:23 p.m. CST

    This movie fucking sucked.

    by BatVomit

    Moriarty, you are no true geek. Spider-Man was the most boring cinematic power dump of a comic book movie yet. Yes, it followed the basic story of the origin of Spider-Man fairly accurately and yes there were a few good points. They nailed the Spidey costume and his movements and web slinging and so forth. J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson was brilliant. The rest of the acting, while not absolutely awful, was pretty mediocre. The entire plot of the film, aside from the origin and transition of Peter Parker into Spider-Man was uninspired, boring, and used about every bad plot device from the Batman and X-Men movies. The action/fight scenes were completely predictable and boring. There was every bad movie cliche: saving babies from burning buildings, posing in front of american flags, bad dialogue, etc. And the Green Goblins costume was awful. It looked every bit as cheesy and Power Rangerish on film as it did in all the photos posted online last year. Spider-Man fucking sucked and so does Aint It Cool News for selling out and perpetuating the hype of this infantile Hollywood dreck.

  • May 5, 2002, 1:33 p.m. CST

    to oorat22

    by lowkey

    the song is "Hell Above Water" by Curve.

  • May 5, 2002, 3:17 p.m. CST

    Great job Moriarty-as usual-I avoided most of the review until a

    by Tarl_Cabot

    You nailed it M! Spiderman rocks. The score was not as bad as I was expecting but It has no identifiable pattern unlike Superman. Batman was abosutely over rated and comparatively dull-I don&#39;t care if Jesus Christ is directing batman 5, I don&#39;t give a shit anymore. Batman is so fucking OVER! Joel Shumacher ruined the image of Batman by turing him into a Fruit boot wearing joke and he can never live that down for me(ok, ice skates but still really gay!). Why does warner bros even bother? If they are greedy than do a Green Lantern movie. It&#39;s the only DC character left that has not been done (to death) and is remotely cool compared to Marvel heros. I loved Spiderman. The constant debate here at AICN over SW vs.LOTR is so frovolous! but that&#39;s what geekdom is all about and Spiderman is the new player on the scene.The best of SW and FOTR both take a back seat to Spidey. Harry says nothing can stand againts AOTC? He should have seen Spiderman before making that Statement. I&#39;ve been a Spiderman fan since I was 3 and 4 years before I was introduced to SW.I think Spiderman surpases SW as pure entertainment. I can&#39;t wait to see it again...

  • May 5, 2002, 6:09 p.m. CST

    WOW, just wow

    by 007-11

    This is the best comic book movie ever. This is now the standard. I just saw the movie and damn it kicked ass. The thing I was impressed by the most was Raimi&#39;s handling of the scenes where Osbourne and the Goblin converse, especially the mirror scene. Willem Dafoe carried the movie for me. Honestly I didn&#39;t really like Tobey Maguire or Kirsten Dunst very much in this movie, they seemed really awkward, especially together. Still, the movie kicked ass. If only Batman could get this kind of treatment.

  • May 5, 2002, 9:54 p.m. CST

    Spiderman Is Uneven

    by Interfan

    Spiderman, like Batman, is one of the most human of Comic Book characters the genre has ever made. Unfortunately, under Raimy&#39;s direction that story takes a back seat to fast edits, choppy sequences, and missed reaction shots in the dramatic moments. Tobey Maquire gives a performance that is undercut by the pace of the direction. It is as if the film veers away from serious emotions. Raimy discomfort with drama is apparent when you compare them to the comedic scenes in the film. All of those scenes worked for me. I laughed when I saw them, but felt nothing for the characters when the big painful scenes. Raimy&#39;s instincts keep him from making a great film because he cannot mix drama with comedy. Watch his film "Darkman" and you see that he has failed to resolve this problem. Regardless, this film is critic proof and people will go to see it because it&#39;s Spiderman the movie we&#39;ve been waiting for since the first comic book. As for the cgi complaints, I think that it is an overblown complaint. The problem with cgi&#39;s is that we know how they are done and there is no moment of disbelief because of that. Willam Defoe gives a performance that Bruce Campbell has been trying to give for years and is the best performance of the film. Moriarty is right about Elfman&#39;s score, but is wrong about seeing this movie. My advice, go see it at the matinee.

  • May 5, 2002, 10:47 p.m. CST

    The score don&#39;t suck, foo

    by Coolius_Montero

    I just saw this bitchass movie, and I must say that I was nonewhat dissapointed by Danny Elfman&#39;s score. I think it hit the write note for every scene, and the Spider-man does have a cool theme, you just have to listen for it. Anyways, just wanted to get my opinion out. Peace all.

  • May 5, 2002, 11:46 p.m. CST

    Spider-Man: Stop bitching until you see it

    by Pandaman64

    Okay, we knew it was coming. And we knew it might suck. We also knew it could be good. And you know what? IT WAS. Without a doubt. I have a friend who is constantly bitching about how this scene looks so fake and that is SO not possible; you have a friend lke that too. So what? its cool! if you have anything to say, say it AFTER you&#39;ve seen the movie. When you nag on the film without seeing it, it just makes you that much more of a pansy with nothing better to do than bash a movie, and you&#39;re jealous because "your" movie sucked. So stuff it. i dont care.

  • May 6, 2002, 1:46 a.m. CST

    So Who Did Dave Knowles&#39; Spiderman Cartooning?

    by boskodude

    Thanks for letting somebody know you liked Spiderman. I went to see it this past weekend and thought it was like opening up a giant comic book...with all the charaters coming to life on the movie screen. Really enjoyed it start to finish. All the characters came through in it as well. Special effects and all...Spiderman has got what it takes...!

  • May 6, 2002, 2:53 a.m. CST

    Spiderman screenplay??

    by Paul Allen Voiq

    Just a request if anyone has the screenplay for the film. It seems to be down from all the sites, but you guys always come through here. Anyone got? Please email me. thanx

  • May 6, 2002, 7:08 p.m. CST

    by Jonny Fontane

    Spiderman was a great film, but still does not compare to the script found on

  • May 7, 2002, 12:04 a.m. CST


    by eyeknow1

    Any SPIDERMAN fan who watches this film will be happy and thankful. I&#39;m not sure what you people were expecting. Face the facts losers, it&#39;s a HOLLYWOOD movie based on a COMIC BOOK. This isn&#39;t a film for people who are closed minded fools or looking for THE GREEN MILE. This is a film for people who enjoy getting away from life for a few hours. It&#39;s for people who once had SPIDERMAN UNDEROOS. For people who realize that a COMIC BOOK is impossible to recreate anywhere else other than the pages of a COMIC BOOK. It&#39;s for children and there parents. It&#39;s fun and fantastic. SPIDERMAN isn&#39;t real, but he&#39;s damn fun. You people posting all of these negative reviews remind me of the folks I heard mumbling at the end of LORD OF THE RINGS when they could not figure out why the movie ended that way. Sad. All of you missed the point. I think MORIARTY was correct. This was the best SUPERHERO film adaptation to date. The costumes were superb. I, for the first time felt what WEBSLINGING is all about. The organic web slingers were brilliant. How can PETER PARKER make a costume, be a brilliant scientist, an outstanding photographer, build webslingers and get the girl? Something had to give. And who&#39;s complaining about the GREEN GOBLIN&#39;S costume?!? GG&#39;s costume in the books were awful no matter what. HE looked like an idiot in 1963 and still does. Who cares how he goes about looking like an idiot. This movie had a good story, most comics do not. It&#39;s lowbrow people like you that promote bad storytelling. "I want big action and big tits, DAMN the story!!!"Quit being such SHITS and enjoy life...

  • Jan. 19, 2007, 1:16 p.m. CST

    Another early WolfPack post

    by 0rcus

  • May 7, 2007, 4:13 p.m. CST


    by BenBraddock

    Elfman deserves an apology from Moriarty, by the way.