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December 1, 2009

Film Fatale: Spider-Man

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Written by: The Movie Lady
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SpidermanGWhat is there not to love about this movie? Alright, there’s the fact that they cast Macy Gray to be the singer for the World Unity Festival, but that’s about it. Everything else is excellent and gets an A+. The casting, acting, effects, plot, elements… they all get A’s across the board. Spider-Man, which premiered in 2001, was directed by Sam Raimi who is also famous for directing the cult classic Evil Dead movies. On a side note, Bruce Campbell, the star of the Evil Dead movies, has a cameo as a wrestling announcer. Stan Lee also makes an appearance in a cameo role, and he served as executive producer (like he has for many other Marvel movies). David Koepp wrote the screenplay for the film. He also co-wrote a little movie with Michael Crichton called Jurassic Park. Now that’s a guy who writes good movies. Tobey Maguire is perfection as Spider-Man/Peter Parker. James Franco originally auditioned for Spider-Man and thankfully, was later cast as Harry Osborn. He would have made a lousy Spider-Man and we wouldn’t have gotten to see him as Harry. Willem Dafoe kicks ass as the Green Goblin/Norman Osborn. In the film Willem has these long monologues where he does his creepy Jekyll and Hyde bit, and he performs them superbly. And lastly, Kirsten Dunst plays a decent Mary Jane.

-Begin Spoilers

I love that in the beginning, straight off Peter almost misses his bus and is shown to be a geek. The scene where you get to actually see his DNA transforming is cool as well. There’s another neat scene where Peter realizes he doesn’t need glasses; he’s looking in the mirror and raises his glasses over the camera (as if he we’re putting them on and we’re seeing what he’s seeing) causing everything to blur before he lowers them, and everything comes into focus again. The most hilarious part of the whole movie was when he started discovering his powers and tried to use his web shooters. The action grows quickly until everything is cut short and Peter can’t figure out how to make them shoot. The camera shows shots of his hand as he tries to flip the webs while saying things like “Go web!”, “Flyyy..”, “Up, up, and away web!” and “Shazam!” (at which point he’s holding his hand in the traditional position from the comics, and bends his hand up and down at the wrist in a silly wiggly manner). In the film the webbing was made to come from his body (as opposed to being mechanisms Peter invented) since the director felt people wouldn’t believe that a high school kid could develop the ones he has in the comics. I think that’s rubbish, but it does lead to some comedy having them be organic.


The original movie poster. Look closely at his eyes to see what was changed. Click to enlarge.

Bruce Campbell has a great line in his cameo as he’s about to announce the name “Spider-Man” for the first time in the movie. When asked, Peter Parker says his name is “The Human Spider,” to which Bruce replies “The Human Spider? That’s it? That’s the best you got?…Well that sucks.” Spider-Man’s outfit is pretty laughable in this scene as he’s wearing what looks like blue sweats and a red long sleeved shirt with a spider on the front. Tobey’s acting in this movie is great. After his uncle is shot and dies, the way his expression changes as he decides to chase after the culprit is raw. The ending of the movie is flawless (like the rest of the film for the most part)- “This is my gift, my curse. Who am I? I’m Spider-Man.” BAD… ASS…

Interesting tidbits: The radioactive spider that bit Peter Parker in the movie, which granted him superpowers, was beautiful and it had these unnatural looking colors. It turns out that they anesthetized the spider and painted it. I didn’t even realize you could anesthetize a spider. I thought it was CGI. Who can tell these days? And wouldn’t it have been easier to make a CGI spider? When Tobey Maguire is drawing sketches for his costume, the hand that is actually doing the drawing is Phil Jimenez, an artist for Wonder Woman comics in the 80s. One of those sketches is almost identical to Venom’s costume, except the spider insignia is red with the note “Needs more color.” Multiple Spider-Man suits were created for the film, each costing about $100,000. Columbia Pictures put out a $25,000 reward for their return, but they were never returned. That’s pretty hilarious and makes you wonder where they are now. The original Spider-Man movie poster showed his costumed face with the Twin Towers reflected in his eyes, but after the events of 9/11, it was later changed. The teaser trailer also originally contained the Twin Towers. A made-up situation that was cut from the movie occurs where bank robbers are getting away in a helicopter and they get stuck in Spidey’s web that is hanging between the Towers. Check out the original trailer:

-End Spoilers

Spider-Man’s got action, it’s got romance, humor, cool effects, angst, sadness, and courage. “With great power comes great responsibility.” The people who were involved in making this movie had a big responsibility in trying to do the comic justice. But it’s Spider-Man right? How could anyone screw that up? Alright, lots of people could but Raimi and his cast didn’t. If for some reason you haven’t seen Spider-Man, I think you need to rectify that and join the masses. In 2002 it didn’t beat The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones in the United States and Canada in box office sales for nothing!

Willem Dafoe is Norman Osborn, who IS the Iron Patriot in Marvel's Dark Reign event!

Willem Dafoe is Norman Osborn, who IS the Iron Patriot in Marvel's Dark Reign event!

The Movie Lady



  1. […] here: Film Fatale: Spider-Man AKPC_IDS += "2882,";Popularity: unranked [?] > Spiderman News — admin @ 12:50 […]

  2. InfiniteSpeech

    This is what a comic book movie should be! It was just fun to watch and got “IT” right on so many levels. My only issue was the design of the the Green Goblin costume…I hated it! other than that this film was amazing…and I didn’t know you could anesthetize a spider either…wow!

  3. I’ve always hated Dunst as Mary Jane. I cringe at her performances. Other than that though, it was a great film! Lots of fun and very accessable to the masses.

    I’ve never seen that trailer before, since it was pulled almost immediately, since, you know, seeing the World Trade Center is something none of us can ever handle, ever again. I’ve always heard about it though, thanks for posting it!

  4. I love this movie! It’s my favorite Marvel superhero film. I think it’s a little ridiculous they had to change the movie poster, but I like the way the movie turned out, so I suppose it doesn’t really matter.

    Great write up Movie Lady!

  5. billy

    This film was great from top to bottom. I could watch this movie over and over again. It never gets old. Good review ML.

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