July 22, 2004



.... as they used to say on the front of Marvel All-Color comics.

But, really, really, this one does.

Romance. Action (that's not Matrix-dull). Humour (that's actually funny). FX (that actually affect). A brilliant cyborg villain (who doesn't white cat about). Fidelity to source material.

SPIDER MAN 2. Do yourselves a favour and see this as soon as possible. It'll remind you of how entrancing and joyous cinema can be.

(I've got to do a 'proper', paying review of this, so I'm going to have to hold myself back a little).

You can trust me on this. Fewer things run deeper in me than Spiderman. I had the comics before I could read. I lived and breathed the mythos and played with the Mego action figures.

It's even better than the first one, and that was the best superhero movie ever made.


We all agreed that the trailers for upcoming 'attractions' were just about the worst we've ever seen.

In ascending order of stupefying inanity:

THUNDERBIRDS --- well, you know all about this, but I should lower your expectations even further if I were you . Ben Kingsley white catting about: (rubs chin malevolently) 'But WHO will rescue the rescuers?' Mwhah hah hah!

TWO BROTHERS ---- it's about two tiger siblings. Separated at birth. No, really.

THIRTEEN GOING ON THIRTY --- a thirteen year old girl wakes up one morning to find that, inexplicably, she's THIRTY. With hilarious consequences.


It left us wondering: what do you have to do to get a script idea rejected in Hollywood these days?

Posted by mark at July 22, 2004 01:09 AM | TrackBack

it's a cracker, isn't it. was lucky enough to see it a few weeks ago as a preview on that massive screen at leicester square. the CGI is fabulous, the plot works, as well as dunst and maguire being good, alfred molina (mega-underrated actor, in my book) is superb - really multi-faceted; as well as being a believable bad 'un, you genuinely feel for him, too.
all in all, pretty much everything visual and character-related was impressive, but thing that got me most about it was the sound. maybe it's because i saw it in such a *huge* theatre, but some the noise nearly rocked me out of my seat. have never seen a movie where this was as big a part of the whole experience - almost like 3D noise, if you can consider such a possibility!
i went on my own and was totally into it, but the best gauge of how successful a film this is is that i ended sitting next to a guy from the telegraph who'd taken his little lad (who proudly told me was his 7th b'day the day before). this kid was absolutely *entranced* by the whole thing - it was great seen thru adult eyes but i can't imagine how thrilling it must have been to him.

Posted by: stelfox at July 22, 2004 10:40 AM

MONKEY TENNIS???!!!! God bless you Culture Industry!

I am seeing SM2 at the weekend and I'm really looking forward to it so I will avoid the rest of this comment thread in case of spoilers.

Posted by: Tom at July 22, 2004 10:59 AM

go see it at the biggest screen you can find with the loudest sound, that's my tip.

Posted by: stelfox at July 22, 2004 11:24 AM

nice bass in parts ..
my viewing came with the added pleasure of a loud commentary by several north London youth - shoulda recorded it..
my girlfriend cried at the end :)

Posted by: mms at July 22, 2004 11:29 AM

Glad other people liked it. We too saw it in a big cinema, sitting in the front row - that gave it added delirial intensity. Came away with a pulled muscle in my neck from all that ducking.
Yeh, Dave it's absolutely crucial that kids would love it -- was constantly heartened by a kid behind me oohhing and aaaaahing.
Marcus, I spent more or less the whole movie on the verge of tears --- just at the wonderment of it. But the romance was beautifully handled.
One problem tho: someone pension off Danny Elfman. The score was perfunctory at best. Why don't they get RZA to do it? Marvel's massive in hip hop.

Posted by: mark at July 22, 2004 11:39 AM

spiderman rocks and toby maguire is the best actor of his generation. loved the first one.

Posted by: wbtnk at July 22, 2004 12:27 PM

funny you should mention rza - i re-watched ghost dog: way of the samurai only last night (in the absence of ANYTHING worth watching being on telly!*) and thought pretty much the same. he would do great on a soundtrack for something like this, as would some of the dancehall guys, like donovan bennett... all that steely futurism and bassy murk going on.

* telly side note, caught a bit of that how clean is yr house last night. anyone seen this? it's truly vile... the woman whose squalid home was being cleaned was covered in bird shit and filth, but she was obviously mentally ill. the way she was presented as someone to laugh at/be repulsed by was so fucking exploitative and foul it made me feel quite ill.

Posted by: stelfox at July 22, 2004 12:28 PM

However, CATWOMAN will remind you why movie adaptations of comics were generally revilied until SPIDERMAN came along.

And let's hope that the Jack Black as GREEN LANTERN remains just a surreal piece of misinformation....

Posted by: amblongus at July 22, 2004 01:42 PM

Dave, yeh, it was just that I know RZA's into soundtracks now, and the longstanding Marvel-hip hop-becoming means the films are crying out for this kind of soundtrack (I mean, cf all Ghostface's Marvel aliases).

Have to watch Ghost Dog, a friend lent it to me ages ago but i haven't got round to it yet...

Amblongus, yet Catwoman looks dreadful... Spiderman wasn't the big breakthrough though, since it followed hot on the heels of Singer's X-Men. There are two principal reasons why superhero films work now where they didn't before: excellent directors who understand and love the mythos (Raimi and Singer) and CGI (superhero movies and Jurassic Park are just about the only justification for this largely depressingly badly deployed technology).

As for Green Lantern... Couldn't care less. I hate DC (apart from Batman).

Posted by: mark at July 22, 2004 04:35 PM

youth hostelling with chris eubank.

Posted by: jed at July 23, 2004 12:15 AM

Is Spiderman beating up Elton John in those comic cuts on your page, Mark?

Posted by: Daniel Byron at July 23, 2004 03:52 AM

Didn't you know that Elton based his look on Doc Ock, Daniel?

Posted by: mark at July 23, 2004 07:19 AM

I hate DC

I'm curious actually as to how much of Grant Morrison's DC stuff you've seen - particularly Animal Man and The Invisibles. I was browsing yr hyperstition blog and it struck me that you in particular might find that stuff entertaining/interesting (if perhaps philosophically gauche...!)

Posted by: Tom at July 23, 2004 05:30 PM

What, you can get action figures of Austrian laptop musicians now? Collect all four members of Farmers Manual. Swap 'em! Trade 'em! How very, very.
That was some Ross Andru art you posted, wasn't it?

Posted by: kek-w at July 23, 2004 11:27 PM

Tom, yr right, my anti-DC prejudice is based on what it was like when I was a kid (boring and staid). Yr not the first person to mention Grant Morrisson in connection with hyperstition --- can you explain it a bit? (btw pulp forms generally provide the most rigorous explications of hyperstitional philosophy...)

Posted by: mark at July 26, 2004 07:23 AM

I want to be Spiderman when I grow up.

Posted by: Philip at July 27, 2004 01:06 PM

Making Green Lantern a comedy is a disrespect with his fans and with a superhero that exists since 1940 and has never had a decent film that lives up to his rich story. I believe if they make Green Lantern a comedy nobody will look at the character seriously anymore and the chance of making an eye candy science fiction movie with lots of special effects and lots of action may be lost forever.

Posted by: Jeferson Paiva Ferreira at October 17, 2004 04:31 PM