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Darker Power, Darker Responsibility
This movie is not as bad as I remember it!
‘Spider-Man 3’ is the last film of this trilogy of movies, directed by Sam Raimi and starring Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker/Spider-Man. After watching ‘Spider-Man 2’ at the cinemas in 2004, I couldn’t wait to see the next instalment and the continuing story of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson.
The movie stars Tobey Maguire who returns as Peter Parker/Spider-Man with Kirsten Dunst and James Franco. There are also the villains Thomas Haden Church as the Sandman and Topher Grace as Venom. I do now have the movie as a part of the ‘Spider-Man: Five-Movie Collection’ Blu-ray box set.
It was three years for me to wait for ‘Spider-Man 3’ to be released at the cinemas in 2007. But I learned how to be patient and I was hoping that it would be worth the wait seeing this film at the cinema. This film delivers a final showdown and a sweeping finale to a trilogy of successful movies.
What I remember in 2007 was being really excited to see this new ‘Spider-Man’ film. I watched all the trailers and had high expectations of this movie. I don’t know who said it originally, but it’s true you can have too much of a good thing. That was how I felt after watching ‘Spider-Man 3’ at the cinema.
It’s not a bad film really, but it felt like not all I expected was in the final film. I felt that too much had gone into this movie and there were too many characters to make it unfulfilling. I felt the ending wasn’t uplifting and reassuring as I hoped it’d be, as I didn’t know this was the last film of the series.
But after watching the film recently, I realised that the themes of ‘Spider-Man 3’ were about forgiveness and overcoming the dark aspects of one’s personality in order to become a better person and that showing goodness to people is evident. I did enjoy ‘Spider-Man 3’, but it’s not the best of the trilogy.
There’s a selection of new characters from the Spider-Man comic book universe featured in this movie. There are not one or two, but THREE Spider-Man villains!!! There’s the Sandman; Harry Osborn as the new Green Goblin/New Goblin and Venom. Gwen Stacy also appears in this movie.
Peter Parker has now balanced his double life as himself and Spider-Man. He’s managed to balance his relationship with Mary Jane Watson too. But things get in the way as Spidey soon becomes absorbed by an alien goo from outer space that takes him over and makes him the black Spider-Man.
Tobey Maguire gives a stunning performance as Peter Parker/Spider-Man in this movie. He’s so believable and easy to relate to when he’s Peter, on a journey to deal with his dark side. He becomes increasingly over-confident in this movie and becomes vengeful when he wears the black costume.
Kirsten Dunst gives a lovely performance as Mary Jane Watson. I love those early love scenes between her and Peter. But MJ’s acting career gets into jeopardy when she gets a bad review on her latest performance in a Broadway musical. There is also tension developed between her and Peter.
James Franco returns as Harry Osborn who now becomes the New Goblin. Harry knows Peter is Spider-Man following the events of ‘Spider-Man 2’. He’s determined to exact his revenge on Peter, believing him to have killed his father. Harry soon gets a bump on the head to cause him having amnesia.
Thomas Haden Church stars as the Sandman a.k.a. Flint Marko. Marko is a small-time crook who escapes and gets caught in an experiment involving sand, transforming him into the Sandman. It turns out that Marko was the real killer of Uncle Ben, which I wasn’t happy with in terms of the story.
Topher Grace stars as Eddie Brock Jr. who becomes Venom in this movie. I really like Topher’s performance as Eddie as it’s so opposite to Peter. It’s such a shame that Venom wasn’t featured much after Peter gets rid of the black costume. Vemon only appears in the climactic battle of this movie.
Bryce Dallas Howard stars as Gwen Stacy, who was Peter’s girlfriend in the comics. In this movie however, Gwen is actually Eddie Brock’s (sort of) girlfriend and Peter’s partner in their science class. Gwen is sweet and lovely; but she brings tension to Peter and MJ in a love triangle which I didn’t like.
Rosemary Harris returns as Aunt May. She gets to hear Peter’s announcement when he wants to marry Mary Jane. She gives Peter some encouraging words of advice as well an engagement ring. She’s also there for Peter after his ordeal with the black costume and tells him he’s a good person.
James Cromwell guest stars as Captain George Stacy, Gwen’s father. I’ve seen James Cromwell in the movie ‘Star Trek: First Contact’. Stacy is a captain of the New York police trying to catch Flint Marko who escaped from prison. He informs Peter and Aunt May that Flint Marko killed Uncle Ben.
J.K. Simmons returns as J. Jonah Jameson and is terrific. I love every scene with Jameson at the Daily Bugle. His scenes are the best and helped to provide the comic relief featured in this dark story of a movie. I loved it when he gets buzzed all the time by his secretary Betty Brant when taking his pills.
‘Spider-Man 3’ is well-directed by Sam Raimi who does a splendid job. He knows the characters inside out due to his passion and knowledge of ‘Spider-Man’ from the comics. He directs this movie with a fine balance of drama and action which I liked, despite the weak aspects featured in the story.
The set design and action sequences are truly spectacular in this movie. It was great to revisit the Daily Bugle for one last time as well as seeing Peter’s apartment when MJ and Aunt May visit him. We also get to see Aunt May’s new home in New York and return to Harry’s big house that’s in the movie.
The special effects are also spectacular in this movie. The CGI effects for the Sandman; Venom and the black goo attaching itself to Peter are pretty amazing and well done. The stunt work is also fantastic and makes you feel exhilarated. It’s as if that you’re really travelling through the skyscrapers.
As I said before, the thing about ‘Spider-Man 3’ that disappointed me was the ending. It was a rather sad ending and it didn’t do anything reassuring for the audience to ensure the ‘Spider-Man’ movie series was going to continue. At least it ends on a happier note with Peter and MJ dancing together.
Plans were made to make ‘Spider-Man 4’ and Tobey Maguire would have reprised his role as Peter Parker/Spider-Man with Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane and Sam Raimi returning as the director. Sadly due to script problems and disagreements in the studios, the film got cancelled which is a real shame.
When I first had ‘Spider-Man 3’ for Christmas 2007 on DVD, it was on a 2-disc DVD set. Disc 1 contained the movie and Disc 2 contained the special features. I found my Blu-ray version of ‘Spider-Man 3’ to be rather disappointing since it didn’t keep most of the original DVD special features on it.
The original 2-disc DVD special features are as follows. On Disc 1, there were two commentaries. The first is with director Sam Rami, Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Thomas Haden Church, Topher Grace and Bryce Dallas Howard. That is one huge cast commentary for a ‘Spider-Man’ movie! There was also a commentary on the production side with producers Laura Ziskin, Avi Arad and Grant Curtis; editor Bob Murawski and special effects supervisor Scott Stokdyk. Both these audio commentaries are included on the Blu-ray release of ‘Spider-Man 3’ within the five-movie collection.
On Disc 2 of the original 2-disc DVD, there were two sections to enjoy. They are ‘Special Features’ and ‘Featurettes’. In ‘Special Features’, there are bloopers/outtakes; photo galleries and a music video of ‘Signal Fire’ by Snow Patrol. These special features are found on the ‘Spider-Man 3’ Blu-ray. There was also an ‘Advertising Campaign’ that included trailers and TV spots from around the world for ‘Spider-Man 3’ on the original 2-disc DVD. Sadly these aren’t included on the Blu-ray version I have for ‘Spider-Man 3’. I don’t know why a 2-disc Blu-ray wasn’t included in the five-movie collection. Speaking of which, the ‘Featurettes’ section included on the 2-disc DVD is not on my Blu-ray for ‘Spider-Man 3’. This was a series of 10 behind-the-scenes making-of documentaries and they include behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast and crew. This is something I liked watching on the DVD. The titles for these featurettes are as follows. They’re ‘Grains of Sand – Building Sandman’; ‘Re-Imagining The Goblin’; ‘Covered in Black – Creating Venom’; ‘Hanging On…Gwen Stacy and the Collapsing Floor’; ‘Fighting, Flying & Driving – The Stunts’; ‘Tangled Web: The Love Triangles of Spider-Man 3’; ‘Wall of Water’; ‘On Location Cleveland – The Chase of Euclid Avenue’; ‘On Location New York – From Rooftops to Backstreets’; ‘The Science of Sound’ and ‘Inside The Editing Room’.
‘Spider-Man 3’ isn’t the greatest finale to this trilogy of movies featuring the webslinger. But it’s far from terrible. The first two ‘Spider-Man’ films were masterpieces in my opinion. I suppose I wasn’t willing to accept that this was the last film of the Tobey Maguire film series as I enjoyed them so much.
The story’s structure isn’t great and there are too many characters to contend with. But this is a good ‘Spider-Man’ film and a fitting way to end this era of ‘Spider-Man’ that I love so much. I will always have happy memories of the original ‘Spider-Man’ trilogy with Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst.
I wish there was a ‘Spider-Man 4’, but we can all imagine it in our hopes and dreams.
‘Spider-Man 3’ rating – 8/10
‘SPIDER-MAN 3’ (NOVELIZATION)
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The Battle Within Spider-Man
Here is another classic novelization of the original ‘Spider-Man’ movie trilogy by Peter David!
I’m saddened that I’ve finished re-reading these ‘Spider-Man’ movie novelizations. They’ve been great to read from seeing the original ‘Spider-Man’ movies with Tobey Maguire; Kirsten Dunst and James Franco. There’s plenty of detail and character development to enjoy from these novelizations.
This is the ‘Spider-Man 3’ novelization, based on the motion picture and was published in 2007, the same year the movie was released at the cinemas! I purchased the ‘Spider-Man 3’ novelization to keep in line with reading the first two ‘Spider-Man’ movie novelizations that I was reading back in 2007.
The book is based on the screenplay by Sam Raimi, Ivan Raimi and Alvin Sargent; based on the screen story by Sam Raimi and Ivan Raimi and based on the Marvel comic book by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. There was a junior novelization for this movie, but I’ve only read this movie novelization.
When I read ‘Spider-Man 3’ as a novelization, I was also on holiday in Scotland in the summer of 2007, both in Torridon and on the Isle of Lewis. Like the first two ‘Spider-Man’ books, this is also a very engrossing read as I enjoyed reading the characters and exploring more of the world of Spider-Man.
However, ‘Spider-Man 3’ isn’t the best instalment out of the trilogy and not my favourite. I did want to salvage something from my disappointment of watching ‘Spider-Man 3’ at the cinema. Thankfully this book compensates with providing more than what was promised in the actual movie.
I’ve re-read this ‘Spider-Man 3’ movie novelization whilst I was away for weekend breaks at conventions in Worcester and Weston-super-Mare in August 2016. I enjoyed re-reading the book whilst I was away for conventions as it was great to revisit this very underrated ‘Spider-Man’ movie.
The book is divided into 24 chapters, with a prologue at the beginning and an epilogue at the end. Peter David continues the same flavour of storytelling that was prevalent in the first two ‘Spider-Man’ movie novelizations. I like how he tackles Peter Parker’s dark journey as Spider-Man in this.
There aren’t any new scenes at the beginning of the book like Peter David provided for the first two ‘Spider-Man’ movie novelizations. He more or less starts with a brief recap of Peter’s life flashing before his eyes and seeing Mary Jane singing on Broadway, which happens in the book’s prologue.
Peter David however does provide new scenes throughout the book that were never seen in the movie at the cinema. These new scenes help to enhance the supporting characters in the story, most specifically with Flint Marko and his family and on Eddie Brock’s romantic attempts with Gwen Stacy.
The story of Peter Parker in the book is well-handled compared to how it was shown in the movie. There’s still the Peter Parker dancing stuff when he had his black costume on. But I like how Peter David enhances on the darker nature of Peter Parker’s character when he gets increasingly over-confident.
I like how the book begins with the romantic scenes between Peter Parker and Mary Jane before the plot gets grim later on in the story. Peter becomes optimistic in his endeavours in wanting to impress Mary Jane and his pride gets tested when he sometimes takes his girlfriend for granted during the story.
I actually liked it that Peter Parker doesn’t get to have the chance to ask Mary Jane to marry him in the story in book form compared to the movie. In the movie, he shows the engagement ring to MJ when she’s dumping him. In the book, it doesn’t happen as she quickly dumps him before he pops the question.
I did like it that in the book, it’s explored how MJ is trying to protect Peter as well as herself when being threatened by Harry who reasserts himself as the New Goblin. I also liked it when MJ is thinking about Peter whilst kissing Harry, as she realises that what she’s doing is wrong in that scene.
I liked it when MJ realises that it’s the black costume that’s making Peter do these out-of-character things when he’s at her jazz club and he’s pushed her to the floor. I also liked it when she prays to God to bring Peter back to her and really liked it when Peter says sorry to MJ for pushing her then.
It’s a shame that Peter isn’t as understanding and more sympathetic to MJ’s bad luck in the book as he was in the movie. This reinforces the point that Peter takes MJ for granted and is over-confident in his pride for being Spider-Man, rather than thinking about the problems that his girlfriend’s having.
Also I liked how the jealously in the ‘love triangle’ between Peter, MJ and Gwen Stacy is handled in the book. MJ is clearly upset when Peter as Spidey is kissed upside-down by Gwen at ‘the key to the city’ ceremony. Peter soon realises his mistake and I liked it when he attempts to make it up with MJ.
I liked how Harry Osborn’s journey is developed in the book as well as in the film. Harry starts off by hearing his father’s voice talking to him inside his head. In fact, Harry is influenced by his father whenever he’s the New Goblin, as Norman keeps talking to him in his imagination during the book.
There’s a difference in the book compared to the film as Harry regains his memory loss from his fight with Spider-Man and hears his father talking to him before MJ comes to visit him at his penthouse. It was interesting that Harry tries to resist his father’s voice before MJ comes to visit him.
This book also enhances on the villains of the story, most specifically on Flint Marko and Eddie Brock. With Flint Marko, we have an extended appearance of Emma, Flint Marko’s wife and Penny, his daughter. Peter David enhances their roles in order to make them stop Flint Marko as the Sandman.
Emma and Penny make an appearance at the end of the book to stop Flint Marko as Sandman from killing Spider-Man at the construction site. It’s an interesting appearance and a major difference to the plot of ‘Spider-Man 3’ in the book, as that was shown differently in the movie with Flint Marko.
In the movie, Flint Marko tells Peter Parker about the circumstances of him killing Ben Parker after he’s defeated Venom. In the book, it’s different as Marko tells Peter about this before he tackles Venom. I actually prefer the book version of Flint Marko’s ending in ‘Spider-Man 3’ compared to the movie.
Eddie Brock is also developed in the book. Whilst he’s still the arrogant, smug, bad boy that he was in the movie, in the book his motivations and reasons for doing the things he does are explored further. Most specifically is his obsession of winning the girl of his dreams, Gwen Stacy, in the story.
It turns out that Gwen Stacy doesn’t love Eddie Brock and he believes that she does. In fact, Gwen finds it uncomfortable seeing Eddie as she realises that she has given the wrong messages to him about wanting to meet her again. This is evident as she prefers Peter Parker instead of Eddie Brock.
There’s a new scene featured in the book where Eddie tries to see Gwen after his fall at the Daily Bugle with faking Spider-Man’s crime scene. Gwen clearly wants nothing to do with Eddie Brock and it is pathetic how he keeps on trying to win her affections, even as her parents arrive on the scene.
Peter David also changes the structure of scenes in the story slightly. For example, he has MJ dumping Peter, Eddie Brock’s downfall, the Peter/Harry fight and Peter at MJ’s jazz-club in that order. Whereas in the movie, the Eddie Brock downfall and the Peter/Harry fight is switched around.
I’m not sure if that was the original order of scenes in the movie screenplay before director Sam Raimi edited the scenes in a different order for the movie. Perhaps those scenes work better in the book compared to the movie. I’m not entirely sure, but it was interesting to read it in the novelization.
There are also some omitted scenes from the movie not in the book. Most specifically is the scene where Aunt May visits Peter at his apartment to encourage him to forgive himself and make up with MJ. Also there’s a scene where Peter apologises to Mr. Ditkovitch about his outburst on him from the film.
It’s interesting that Eddie Brock visits Peter Parker’s apartment when he becomes Venom whilst he’s in the shower without even knowing. It’s also interesting when Venom visits Sandman after seeing his daughter Penny and his wife Emma in the playground, as those scenes weren’t featured in the film.
The last main chapter of ‘Spider-Man 3’, Chapter 24, is a very long chapter featuring the climactic battle between Spider-Man and the New Goblin against Venom and the Sandman to save Mary Jane. The climax works well in the book, but Venom’s appearance is equally limited as it was in the movie.
There’s so much more to say about the ‘Spider-Man 3’ novelization, but I better stop in case I don’t finish. Peter David has done wonders with these ‘Spider-Man’ movie novelizations and I’m pleased that he’s done a fine job with novelising ‘Spider-Man 3’ compared to how it was shown on the big screen.
I would like to hear this novelization of ‘Spider-Man 3’ by Peter David as an audiobook someday. I can imagine James Franco reading the audiobook, as it would be great for him to re-create an era of ‘Spider-Man’ that he was so involved with and is a personal favourite from my youth. Let it happen!
‘Spider-Man 3’ is a great novelization of the movie by Peter David. I’ve enjoyed these ‘Spider-Man’ movie novelizations very much. I hoped that this wouldn’t be the end, as I was looking forward to a ‘Spider-Man 4’ with Tobey Maguire. Sadly it wasn’t the case, but I’m pleased to have these novelizations.
The ‘Spider-Man 3’ novelization is certainly a great improvement on the actual movie!
‘Spider-Man 3’ (Novelization) rating – 9/10
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