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August 13, 2007 - Image 38

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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2007-08-13

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261 The Michigan Daily - Orientation Edition 2007

Web of
Mediocrity

4

Spidey's web stretches
too far third time around
By PAUL TASSI
DailyFilm Editor
May 7, 2007 - It's an interesting direction
to take, making "Spider-man 3" a romantic
musical comedy. Not even
close to the previous two
blockbusters in the series *
that inspired the cur-
rent flood of superhero Spiderman 3
films, "Spider-man 3" is AttheShowcase
the biggest disappoint- and Qualityl6
ment since "Star Wars: Columbia Pictures
- Episode I - The Phantom
Menace." Actually, this
film might even be worse.
It's sad to watch "Spider-man 3" unfold.
All the ingredients are there for a great
movie. Determined to marry his longtime
love, Peter Parker must battle his way
through his Uncle's true killer, his former
best friend and finally himself when he's
consumed by a dark alien force that seems
to alter his very essence.
But Spider-man's black suit transfor-
mation is handled especially poorly, and
you're left wondering why $300 million
couldn't buy a decent writer. Instead of a
dark, psychological and criminal journey,
Parker's newfound evil side is little more
than a transformation into a hipster kid,
complete with bangs over his eyes and
what appear to be traces of eyeliner.
Instead of committing felonies, the worst
thing Parker does is goofily strut down the
street and perform pelvic thrusts at ran-

dom women. This all climaxes in an abso-
lutely ridiculous jazz-club dance sequence
that will have you checking your ticket to
see if you're in the right theater.
There's a certain amount of acceptable
camp that should be allowed in comic book
movies. But while the first two "Spider-
man" films had it in moderation, this time
the movie overdoses on cheese to the point
of killing any remnants of the solemn mood
this chapter should have had.
All this said, the film is not a total waste.
There are solid performances from all
three villains: Thomas Hayden Church
("Sideways") as Flint Marko (Sandman),
James Franco ("Spider-man 2") as Harry
Osborne (New Goblin) and even Topher
Grace (TV's "That '70s Show") as Eddie
Brock (Venom).
Brock may be a significant departure
from the comic, but he does make a nice
doppelganger to Peter Parker. Needless to
say, the black, nefariously smiling symbi-
ote looks fantastic when he finally appears
- about two hours into the movie. Church's
Sandman is mostly unnecessary, but at
least entertaining. And Franco's Hobgob-
lin executes some pretty sick moves on his
revamped glider, now a hovering snow-
board with rockets and flamethrowers.
Unfortunately, it's the two leads that
bring the film down for the most part. It's
just not believable when Mary Jane has a
constant attitude of, "I know you're Spi-
der-man, but I want to talk about my day!"
and Peter Parker, about to propose no less,
doesn't understand the repercussions of
kissing another girl right in front of M.J.
Kirsten Dunst's role as Mary Jane (which
involves singing two songs) is wasted
completely in the film. And while Tobey

a

The gaming system that started it all

By MARK SCHULTZ
Daily Arts Writer
Feb. 1, 2007 - Christmas Day 1994
was the worst day of my life. As I sat
with my head in my hands weeping
and cursing, it seemed that my 7-
year-old life couldn't get any worse.
That Christmas I had only asked for
just one thing: A Super Nintendo.
As you probably guessed, my
beloved SNES didn't arrive. All I
know is the day I first popped that
"Super Mario World" cartridge in, I

knew I was experiencing something
special.
"Super Mario World," "Legend
of Zelda: A Link to the Past," "Ken
Griffey, Jr. Baseball" ... I can recall
these titles at a moment's notice.
Not in the history of mankind had
so much entertainment and fun
been contained in a cartridge only
four inches wide.
The beauty of Super Nintendo
was that even the mediocre games
were enjoyable. A game as obscure
as "James Bond, Jr." still had enter-

tainment value. The vast SNES
library derived a game from every
vein of'90s pop culture. There were
games based on movies ("Jurassic
Park" and "Wayne's World") and
games based on TV shows ("Bart
Simpson's Nightmare" and "Ani-
maniacs"). There was something
for everyone.
Super Nintendo's sports games
were - and still are - the best
around. They represented a pleas-
ing middle-ground between the
earliest "Baseball" and "Golf" Nin-

tendo games - which were generic
in gameplay as well as title - and
the uncomfortably realistic "Mad-
den" games of today. "NBA Jam"
might have had no basis in reality,
but who didn't want to jump with
Scottie Pippen 20 feet in the air and
dunk a flaming basketball?
Back in the heyday of Super Nin-
tendo, there weren't lines of people
camping out to buy games, and
there were no kids fighting each
other over the last copy of "Super
Star Wars." That's because Super

Nintendo didn't take itself too seri-
ously, and its quality was so good it
sold itself.
My Super Nintendo is now 11
years old, covered with dirt and
stains, and every year my aging cop-
ies of "Mario All Stars" and "Super
Mario World" are a little less likely
to work. So, I implore you, get your
old Super Nintendo out of the base-
ment - or, if you don't have one,
browse eBay - and rediscover the
magic of the first great video game-
system.

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