Spiderman 3 [Blu-Ray] Sam Raimi

Spiderman 3 [Blu-Ray] Sam Raimi
After revitalizing comic book adaptations, in tandem with Bryan Singer's first two X-Men films, the Spiderman franchise followed the trajectory of Marvel's favourite mutants, succumbing to the curse of the three-quel. Spiderman, however, was the first comic book flick to retain its original cinematic shepherd while laying one in the stink column. Batman had schlock-master Joel Schumacher to blame, while X-Men could look at vapid hack Brett Ratner. The multitude of problems plaguing Spiderman 3 seems to be largely the fault of studio deadlines superseding story. Throughout a commentary track featuring creative mastermind Sam Raimi and stars Tobey Maguire (Peter Parker), Kirsten Dunst (Mary Jane Watson), James Franco (Harry Osborn), Topher Grace (Eddie Brock), Thomas Hayden Church (Flint Marko) and Bryce Dallas Howard (Gwen Stacy), the ensemble continually mention the pressure of having a release date and no script. As a result, Raimi had to write and revise the script on the fly, with shooting already underway. Working off of ideas kicked around by him and his brother/co-writer, Ivan, and franchise veteran Alvin Sargent, Raimi explains how the time constraints necessitated a great deal of collaboration with the actors, in terms of character development. This approach worked much better in some cases (Thomas Hayden Church brings much understated empathy to a protective father turned-crook-turned-sand-monster) than others (Topher Grace's smarmy portrayal of the man who will be Venom). It would have been interesting to see what sort of film this could have been if they went with the story draft Church signed on for, with, as he puts it, "the most diametrically opposed actor to Topher Grace," which was supposed to be Ben Kingsley playing the Vulture. Instead, we get a team who knows better, making the major mistake they avoided on the first two films: overstuffing. Rather than hone the focus to Parker's growing ego and pride in relation to how it affects his finally consummated relationship with Mary Jane and the pursuit of justice against a criminal with a just cause, we get a bungled dark-Spidey and Venom origin, a wasted Gwen Stacy subplot and a partially realized resolution to the Green Goblin 2.0 angle. It's pretty clear, more from the questions Raimi avoids than answers, that he wasn't entirely comfortable with the way certain story elements came into the equation. This is further supported by the complete lack of production features for a series known for exhaustively detailing the process. Aside from the issue-dodging director and cast commentary, there is a mediocre blooper reel, another crappy modern rock music video, photo galleries and a bland commentary track with a trio of producers, the VFX supervisor and film editor. Hopefully, Spiderman's track record will continue to follow the fortunes of the X-Men and The Amazing Spiderman will be at least as effective a re-imagining as X-Men: First Class. (Sony)