Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Random Review (Spider-Man 2)

I'm a big ol' superhero nerd.  I grew up reading comics, playing video games, watching cartoons, and playing with action figures.  Good God,  I had a ton of action figures.  Spider-Man was always a favorite of mine and I adored the movies for him in the 2000's.  The first two are spectacular and very close in terms of which one is my favorite, while the 3rd one is definitely not as good, I still find enjoyment out of it.  Hell, I even liked the reboot Spider-Man that came out this year.  But nothing will come close to the first two movies created by Sam Raimi and friends.

If this is your first Random Review and you're wondering what the fuck I'm doing, I just randomized my DVD collection and decided for shits and giggles, I would watch each one and review it.

File:Spider-Man 2 Poster.jpg
I realize that it was the death of Gwen Stacy (Peter Parker's first true love and girl he was going to marry) in the comic books that really brought Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson together, but I have always been an MJ fan.  I like the dynamic and chemistry Parker and MJ have together and much prefer her over Gwen.  I think the creators of this Spider-Man franchise did an amazing job of casting.  A lot of people seem to rip on him, but Toby Maguire as Spider-Man is dead-on perfect.  His mannerisms and ways of expressing himself remind me so much of the cartoon I loved watching growing up.  Same goes for Mary Jane, Kirsten Dunst is a spitting image of her.  I can't say enough about how much I adore J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson.  Alfred Molina as Dr. Otto Octavius is played very well and of course, one of my favorites, James Franco as Harry Osborn.  Absolutely perfect casting.

I'm a big fan of Sam Raimi, I really appreciate his early work with The Evil Dead series and growing over the decades, asserting himself as one of the better guys in the game.  His presentation of the Spider-Man movies are almost flawless to me and I can't imagine them being made in any other fashion.  They picked some fantastic villains for this series and Doc Ock is one of the best.  Fans of the comics and cartoon adore him and his portrayal is awesome in this movie.  I really like that they went ahead and focused on just how difficult being a superhero can be for Parker.  He tries to juggle his personal life, his business life, and then the life of a superhero trying to protect the people of New York.  It's a constant struggle and what suffers most of all is his love life.  MJ is moving on without him because he can't be there for her, he can't tell her how he really feels.  It's that superhero complex, one that states if he tells her who he is, that puts her in immediate danger.  To her, it seems like he's being selfish, but in reality, it's doing the most selfless thing he can for the woman he loves.

The movie is awesome, that goes without saying.  What really makes me love this DVD as a whole is all the yummy bonus features.  I'm a movie nerd, I love DVDs/Blu-Rays with a ton of fun extra stuff and this is one of those DVDs that goes above and behind all expectations.  It has two commentary tracks - the best of both worlds.  One is a more light-hearted track with Toby Maguire and Sam Raimi, while the 2nd track is a more technical one with the people who made the special effects happen and who made Doc Ock come to life.  Once you're finished with those, you can pop in the 2nd disc and get even more.  There's an extensive documentary that shows how the movie was made, giving you every last little detail you could possibly want - and that's not even everything on that disc.  I especially liked how much they showed the creation of Doc Ock.  The makers of this film decided, from the very beginning, that they were going to use as much live action props for him as possible.  The less CGI the better and it translates so well on screen.  It never really feels fake, despite the absurdness of it all.  That's a huge testament to the makers of this movie.  There's featurettes about the characters in the movie and some who aren't even mentioned.  Stan Lee, the creator of Spider-Man, is interviewed and he provides so many interesting factoids about the characters, it's really a treat to watch.  Huge appreciation and credit goes to these guys who put all of this together.

My Rating - 7/10

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