Wednesday, July 07, 2004


This past Independance Day weekend was more interesting than usual. I usually don't do anything on the fourth except hide at home and avoid all possible traffic jams (that's what I associate most holidays with, justly or no). This time I actually went out and did stuff. I went with Cherie to see a Midsummer Night's Dream on Friday, and with her again to watch the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra and the July 4th fireworks at World's Fair Park on Sunday. Since she already blogged about it, I'll only say that I think they used an Italian Greyhound in the play, it looked like a great dog, and I want one now more than ever.

I saw Spider-man 2 last night. It was alright. I didn't like it as much as the first. It suffered from the same problem that plagued X-Men 2 (in my mind): Too many scenes, too many threads, and just too much, in general. I'm not complaining about the length of the movie. I think it came in at about two hours, which is just fine. It's just that, at times, it felt like the movie was made for A.D.D sufferers. Peter Parker has at least five major sources of angst in this movie. IMHO, that's more than can be handled adequately within two hours. And boy, do they try. Scenes flip by at a fairly frenetic pace. How can Peter linger on any one thing when he's got these many problems to deal with? More importantly, how can he resolve all these issues without people going "Hmm, right. How convenient"?

X-Men 2 did the same thing: lots of new characters, a half-dozen plot threads, and dangerously thin treatments of all the major elements in the movie. More can be better, but only if more is handled very skillfully. That's not always the case here. Both the original X-men and Spider-man kept things fairly tight... both their sequels seemed to want to explode in all directions. Sup with that? It's fitting that this is a comic-book movie: Sam Raimi had to be Superman hold this movie's plot together. Unfortunately, he's only a very talented mortal, and parts of this movie are left either dangling on the sides or dropping away altogether.

In it's defense, Spider-man 2 did do a lot of things right. Doc Ock doesn't get enough screentime, but he's good when he's there. Spider-man 2 stays faithful to the original's tack: this story is about a girl. Glad they stuck in there, though I recall Mary-Jane having a little more backbone in the comics. There were scenes here where my sympathy for MJ started spilling into the realm of pity. Not a good thing. But I digress. I'm talking about the good things now. This movie can be pretty funny. Ha-ha funny. That's a good thing. The action is superb, which is also a good thing. It kinda grinds to a halt in the middle... *slap* ouch, sorry.

Oh well, what else can be said. I'm a little dissappointed, but it was by no means a bad movie. I'm definitely going to see number three. In the meantime, though, I guess I could always watch Shrek 2 again. Now that was a great sequel.

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