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A movie directed by Sam Raimi

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  • Mar 16, 2011
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I was pretty late jumping on to the Spiderman bandwagon, although I had seen some of the comics when I was younger and was relatively familiar with the universe. Thankfully for some, this is an origin story, so you don't have to be familiar with the comics at all to see and enjoy this. Spiderman is not perfect, but it's pretty good and provides a huge dose of web-slinging fun as well as some great heart thanks to its charming lead actors and entertaining villain. Spiderman 2 is the better film for many reasons, but I will explain that in my review of the second film.

For those of you who don't know the origin story of Spiderman, Peter Parker is an orphaned geek who is constantly picked on and can't confess his love for the girl next door, Mary Jane (Dunst). An accident at a laboratory results in him getting bitten by a radioactive spider and turning into spiderman, with the ability to shoot webs out of his wrists, swing around on said webs because they are super-strong, climb up walls, and have precognition about dangerous things that are going to happen (AKA "spidey sense"). He tries out a cage fight and then, with the infamous death of his Uncle Ben, he becomes the titular spiderman. He is then forced to balance spiderman (and hiding his identity) with his regular life. Plus, there's the Green Goblin to fight (AKA Norman Osborn, his best friend's dad) which will really get in the way.

That's essentially the cliff-note version of the movie, and it offers some great insight on the ramifications of being a superhero. Uncle Ben says to Peter "with great power comes great responsibility", and that's pretty much the moral of the movie, maybe even the entire series. This comes into play when Peter starts fighting crime because he thinks his irresponsibility may have caused the death of his uncle. However, I think this is quite implausible, however noble it is. Even if Peter had been with his uncle, a gun is a gun. Maybe he could shoot a web at the gun and shoot the guy, but the best likelihood would be that he would be shot along with his uncle, and leave his Aunt May alone. Anyway, it is incredibly noble, and we wouldn't have one of the best superheroes of all time if this idea didn't come into play.

Tobey Maguire is a very charming actor, and he was a perfect choice for Peter Parker, easily being the best actor in the film. Kirsten Dunst and James Franco were also good as Mary Jane and Harry (Peter's best friend), but nothing really spectacular. I am excited to see what Andrew Garfield will do with the character of Peter Parker, but Tobey Maguire really makes a good geek and a charming geek at that. The other actors include Rosemary Harris as Aunt May and of course Willem Dafoe as Norman Osborne (AKA Green Goblin). Rosemary Harris gives a great performance, as did Dafoe, but we'll talk about him later. There were more characters and thus more performances to judge in the second and third films, but the ones in those films wouldn't exist had it not been for these ones.

Willem Dafoe as the Green Goblin is certainly an interesting performance indeed. First of all, the costume is incredibly lame, as it looks like a children's halloween costume one can purchase at Wal-Mart. He also plays the character incredibly over-the-top, and that can be quite enjoyable. But, when Willem Dafoe goes over the top, he really goes over the top. He plays the character of Norman Osborne like the traditional over-the-top Jekyll and Hyde/comic book villain. It is a comic book movie though, and I can understand why the people behind the movie would want a performance like that. He is incredibly lame, but a great joy to watch, even though I consider Alfred Molina a much more entertaining villain in the second film.

There were a few useless characters, like MJ's parents and MJ's boyfriend before Harry, but they weren't quite as bad as they could have been. There were also some goofy moments, but it is a comic book movie, and it kind of had the air of a sixties comic book villain movie. Those of you who have seen the Nostalgia Critic video of the top 11 dumbest Spiderman moments should probably know that I agree, but am not plagiarizing one thing. The effects were pretty good, but nothing really spectacular, as they got damn amazing in the second and third films. The dialogue was also far from spectacular and of course, there's the stuff about Willem Dafoe and the romance between MJ and Peter. However, the good moments far outweigh the goofy ones and make for a great fun movie.

I would definitely recommend this movie to any fan of comic book movies, as this is one of the best ever made. I would also recommend it to those who want to start on the series or just watch some good goofy fun with a good message behind it. The second film is amazing, and the third film was merely okay, but I would recommend one watch the entire series because it is definitely worthwhile. I am also excited for the reboot with Andrew Garfield next year and I hope to see it in theatres. All in all, one of the best comic book films ever, even though it is far from perfect.

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More Spider-Man (movie) reviews
review by . July 18, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I'm not really a huge spider-man fan, i never really liked the comic books, and other than this one none of the movies really appealed to me. One of the things that made this movie so popular is the truly amazing special effects used. The computer animation is so good that its very difficult to see the difference between the real action and the CGI. The story was very well laid out and interesting enough to encourage the viewer to finish the movie. This is another one of those action movies …
review by . December 05, 2009
   It took many years to get this project done and it certainly delivers as not only a great super hero story but a great film in general that has something to please all movie-goers. From Peter's relationships with his Uncle and Aunt, his persuit of Mary Jane, and the valuable lesson he learns when he abuses his powers (with great power comes great responsibility).    Toby Maguire became a household name from this film and Kurstin Dunst is excellent as Mary Jane.  For those …
Quick Tip by . August 05, 2010
A little slow to start and a little talky but the movie really gets the web swinger's first adventure off to a great start.
Quick Tip by . July 20, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
The movie that started the superhero movie craze, actually was entertaining and visually appealing.
Quick Tip by . July 12, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Entertaining movie with great special effects. Not happy with the way they have Peter become Spiderman in this movie.
review by . November 08, 2009
When I heard they had made a big screen, live action adaption of  one of Marvels most profitable and most popular heroes, Spider-Man I was a little  less than enthusiastic seeing as I grew up watching the Spider-Man 1994 animated series when I was  younger. But after finally viewing it  and seeing it for what it is, Sam Rami's Spider-Man  is a masterstroke among the comic book films and is quite possible the   film that started the  Marvel revolution.   …
Quick Tip by . May 04, 2010
Spiderman learns of his powers and stops a super powered criminal in The Green Goblin. Slow at times and fun at others.
review by . June 21, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
This review will be split into three sections, they will be The Story, The Characters & The Verdict. This will give you a fair and true description of the movie and its characters and will give you my personal opinion of the movie which should help you make an informed decision on whether to watch this film for the first time or whether to stay away like you have already done for six years.    The Story: Tobey Maguire plays Peter Parker an aspiring photographer who one day is …
review by . September 17, 2004
posted in Movie Hype
Sam Rami needs to be congratulated on making a film that totally outdoes its predecessor. Tobey McGuire is great and is one of the most likeable characters (re: Peter Parker) that I have seen in a film in a long time. Alfred Molina is great as one of the more charismatic villains that have ever been portrayed on the screen. I found myself cheering several times throughout the movie.    Peter Parker can't seem to hold a job (he's killing a pizza business that promises on-time …
review by . January 22, 2004
posted in Movie Hype
It took many years to get this project done and it certainly delivers as not only a great super hero story but a great film in general that has something to please all movie-goers. From Peter's relationships with his Uncle and Aunt, his persuit of Mary Jane, and the valuable lesson he learns when he abuses his powers (with great power comes great responsibility).The special effects were amazing and the choice of the Green Goblin as the tortured Norman Osbourn was perfect. Whatever you do, don't …
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About this movie


Based on the classic Marvel Comics series, Sam Raimi's SPIDER-MAN deftly details the origin of the web-slinging superhero. When awkward New York City teenager Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) attends a class field trip to a laboratory, he gets bitten by a genetically altered spider while taking photos of his longtime crush, the lovely Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst). Soon he discovers this bite has given him remarkable powers--heightened strength, dexterity, and awareness, along with the ability to cling to walls and shoot webs from his wrists. Hoping to win Mary Jane's heart using his new talents, Peter becomes distracted from home life with his doting Aunt May (Rosemary Harris) and Uncle Ben (Cliff Robertson), ultimately leading to tragedy--and his new role as the crime-fighting Spider-Man. Meanwhile Harry Osborn (Willem Dafoe), the industrialist father of Peter's friend Norman (James Franco), undergoes a transformation of his own, bringing about the creation of Spider-Man's arch-nemesis: The Green Goblin...                                            
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Director: Sam Raimi
Genre: Action, Drama, Sci-Fi
Release Date: 2002, May 3, 2002
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: Stan Lee, David Koepp, Steve Ditko
DVD Release Date: November 1, 2002
Runtime: 2hrs 1min
Studio: Sony Pictures, Columbia Pictures
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