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Guest Movie Review: Spiderman

STORY: First I'd like to introduce myself. I was the New York winner of the Lobo Oscar picks award. This entitled me to have Judy treat me to a movie, popcorn and a soda. Whoopee! I was not told that I would be responsible for writing a review of the movie until we were on our way in.

Unless you have been someplace on Mars for the past week, you have heard that SPIDERMAN broke all records in its first weekend and in its next three days. I am speaking about the motion picture, not the comic book. I had never read the comic book, so really wasn't sure whether he was a good guy or a bad one. Of course, when I heard that the adorable Tobey Maguire was going to be the lead, I knew he must be a good guy.

Anyway - to the story. To make it short: boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy loses girl again. That's about it with a nasty Green Goblin thrown in and too much fighting and blowing things up. Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) is your above average (brains) high school nerd. He lives with his uncle (PT 109 captain Cliff Robertson) and his aunt (the always sweet and lovely Rosemary Harris). Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst) lives next door to him, and he has loved her since she moved in - he was in third grade. Of course, she doesn't want anything to do with Nerdy. She's interested in another hulk named Flash. I laughed continually at this, because Flash is the name of our male Japanese snow monkey at the Central Park Zoo. It just struck me as funny that this guy and our monkey would share the same name. They probably shared other characteristics too. Oh well, to continue.

On a class trip, Tobey gets bitten on the hand by a genetically modified spider. When he wakes the next day, he appears to have spent the last year in a muscle-building gym. He is also able to eject long threads of sticky stuff from his wrists. I think I am beginning to ramble. Enough about the story - what there is of it. I don't want to spoil it for those of you who want to see it. However, since I have already told you that the boy loses the girl, I will tell you that he loves her and she loves him, but I guess they want to have SPIDERMAN 2, 3 AND 4 so they can't blow his identity too soon.

ACTING: Everyone is well-cast. I would love to have taken Tobey home with me. He was even cuter and better than he was in Cider House Rules. Willem Dafoe (the jolly Green Goblin) was a perfect villain, right down to the laugh. He even scared me occasionally. However, what frightened me the most were those not so itsy-bitsy spiders. As a person who is more than slightly arachniphobic, I guess maybe this was not the film to see. They certainly were creepy. Of course, that's what they do. As an interesting tidbit, I heard that all of the spiders were real except the one that actually bit Tobey. That one was computer-generated. We must be grateful for small things.

CRITTERS: I think I covered this enough under the last category. Arachnids are not my favorite subject.

FOOD: Doesn't play an important part in the picture. People are too busy fighting and flying around to eat. There is one Thanksgiving dinner which is interrupted before it really begins. The turkey looked awfully good though.

VISUAL ART: Great pictures of New York City. When Spiderman goes swooping down the canyons of the city, it is most impressive. However, it does make one miss the towers and yearn to see them standing there again.

BLATANT PRODUCT PLACEMENT: Only New York City if it can be called a product.

SOUNDTRACK: You won't leave the theater humming it like some musicals or operas, but it was very well-suited to the film. It was loud but expressive.

OPENING TITLES: Very artsy and appropriate. The words seemed to hang from spider webs. Most impressive.

THEATER AUDIENCE: About twenty people at the 1:00PM showing. Of course, it was playing every half hour. Judy wanted to know why the people weren't at work. I wanted to know why they weren't outdoors on such a lovely day. It was a mixed group. One young child and his mother sat in the row behind us. He should have been at home or in school. She kept talking to him throughout. She probably wanted to see it so dragged him along. They both left about three-quarters through the film.

SAPPY FACTOR: No sap, just the goo to make the webs in order to catch the bad guys.

QUIRKY METER: The only quirky thing was Tobey, and I'll take a quirky thing like him any day.

SQUIRM SCALE: I think I covered this already under a different category. The word is arachnid.

PREDICTABILITY LEVEL: Should have been boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl. This wasn't the case. However, I could have predicted that he wouldn't get the girl at the end of this particular movie, because there is still much more money to be made.

TISSUE USAGE: Just enough to wipe off the sticky stuff and pick up the pieces of pop corn that I dropped.

OSCAR WORTHY: Not the picture. However, I think Tobey should get one for being the cutest, sweetest thing on two feet.

NIT PICKING: No nits in this picture, only arachnids, and I certainly don't want to pick on any of them.

BIG SCREEN OR RENTAL: Definitely should be seen on the big screen first in order to get the overall effect of New York and the flying over the city. The other parts can be enjoyed on the small screen.

LENGTH: 1 hour 55 minutes