Saturday, May 5, 2007

spiderman 3 and free comic day

As you know, I went into Spiderman 3 with pretty low expectations. But as a good friend from CA was in town and really wanted to see it in NYC, who was I to begrudge. Plus, I knew I was going to see it soon.

So we met at the Union Square Theater at just after 9 this morning (just how much of masochists are we?). And as she finished her bagel and me my green tea, two other of her local (geek-type) friends showed up. And up to the balcony we went. This seriously was our coup of the day, as it did not get filled up like the bottom floor and next to no kids. What more could one ask for?

And after a tedious stream of movie/TV/wtfever promos the lights began to go down and bang a nearly endless stream of trailers. And let me take this time to state, does the world really need a surfing penguin movie or Shrek 3 (and really a Shrek 1 and 2 for that matter). The other previews were fairly unmemorable, but at least they did not leave the taste of manure in my mouth as the 2 above did.

Then it was time to see the opening credits and some awesome Alex Ross paintings. Oh wait, I guess Mr. Ross had the same opinion on the 2nd instalment as me, as we got clips from movie one and two and not wonderfully rendered paintings. I was instantly ready to throw my thumb down on the whole shebang due to this slight alone. But my green tea addled self helped me prevail over my utter dread. So I sat back and waited for the next bone crushing misplacement I was sure to see in the film.

But guess what, It was not nearly as bad as I figured. Sure there were a few scenes that made me roll my eyes - ie. i do not need man on the street, let alone kid on the street comments throughout, i never would have figured venom infused Peter Parker as a fan of Staying Alive, and the first time we see Flint Marko running from the police seemed more like a scene from Law & Order than a multi-multi-multi-million dollar picture. But for the most part the film captured many elements from the comic source while changing a few (undoubtedly causing fanboys around the world to cringe) to transfer the film from episodic pacing to a 2+ hour film. And while the notion of Marko slaying Ben Parker, all be it unintentionally, seemed a bit too much roll-my-eyes coincidence, I will not hold it against the film.

The end fight scene was obviously the coup d etat for the film, I think I enjoyed the 1st fight between Spiderman and Harry Osborn (even on his ultra strange flying snow board no less) quite a bit better. It packed far more emotional resonance for one, and maybe this was because you have 2 previous films to understand his motives. Yes, he is out for revenge, just like Eddie Brock jr, but Harry's motivation does not rely strictly on his douchebaggery (see Brock, Eddie above). Plus the scene was just more fun not having to share it with an audience of extras that foolishly put themselves in harms way to watch "Is this the end of Spiderman" as an overly heavy handed newscaster proclaimed during the last fight scene.

I also enjoyed how NYC went from the Disneyfied lighthearted Times Square in its jovial opening Act to a far darker, almost gothic, Venom black drenched if you will, panoramic as Peter's world seemed to fall apart. And yet in his darkest hour the yellow of the suspended cab, searchlights, and downright hopefulness of new building construction helped cut through Gotham and make it once again more real New York. For this you Mr. Raimi you get a jolly good show. And while i have seen plenty of other better films in my day, this one was fun and even had some great toasts to the geeks to warm my heart. Nuff said...

And how perfect was it that right across the street from the theater was a Forbidden Planet outpost. You know they are going to be thrilled with the spill over traffic that should help drive many sales over the next few weeks. But today was Free Comic Book Day, so rather than go straight to eat we geek 4 simply walked in and picked up a few free books - well after waiting in a long line and me salivating over the shelves upon shelves of graphic novels. I got a grab bag of 5 comics, your basic quarter books, though i seemed to score a Invisbles #1 (which i already have, but now i have a hankering to read the entire epic again), A spectacular looking First Second book (I have really been meaning to check them out) by Eddie Campbell The Train was Bang on Time, a real fun looking Drawn and Quarterly Lynda Barry Activity Book, and an Arvid Nelson, in house, no less, signed copy of Dark Horse's Zerokiller.

I really liked how I got some non-super hero stuff, which i normally pass up. I flipped through the Eddie Campbell book on the way home and I have to say I now want the entire "Fine picture novel" (as First Second - as in 0:01 and not 1st, 2nd, 3rd as I had previously figured - calls their graphic novels).

All and all a really nice way to spend a Saturday and after a Fantastic brunch @ Curly's it was time to enjoy the wondrous weather that NYC has been sorely lacking for too long. It is almost as if the city took a cue from the proper representation seen in the movie and made it a great day to celebrate. Ok, so maybe not, but synchronicity has happened before.

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