Monday, May 7,2007
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
From page 9
rechargeable batteries, that
ty easy path to superhero-dc
Of course, as I grew up
ized that becoming a bi
with entire sectors of Wa
to burn on the latest in Ke
Teflon is about as realistic a
an alien father named Jor-E
my common man instinct
in, I could no longer ident
a presidential luncheon-d
corporate suit as my superh
matter his heart of gold.
Even so, Spidey was a to
to buy into. I wandered,1
that's about when the first of Sam in a museum of rare insects and get
Raimi's "Spider-man" films was stung by a bionic spider that then
released. gives me super powers?
Raimi's Spider-man was so simple With this disarming everyman
's a pret- that it was impossible not to smile. charm that ensnares even the most
am. Tobey Maguire's almost serene far-fetched of fantasies, it should be
, I real- naivet6 in that role was infectious. no surprise that Spider-man was the
llionaire Cracking voice, thick glasses, greasy one who brought back the superhero
ll Street hair, and he could still manage a movie. Since Sam Raimi's "Spider-
Mar and monologue worth every letter of its man" opened in 2002, the Spider-
s having thousands of repetitions inAIM and man, Batman, Superman and X-Men
.l. And as Facebook profiles. franchises have netted over $1.6 bil-
s kicked Suddenly there was another hero lion at the domesticbox office.
ify with that I could meld into. Wimpy with Throw in the respectable totals of
eclining glasses, a select few friends and "Ghost Rider," "Daredevil," "Hulk,"
ero - no grand fantasies? Did they want this "Hellboy" and "Fantastic Four" and
tobe about me? I mean, in our world we're talking a haul that no other
ugh guy of gene-splicing, nuclear fission and genre could even dream about.
between sun-dried tomatoes, surely it isn't so But why care about any of these
od, and far fetched that I might one day be films? Watching even a few seconds
of "Fantastic Four" or "Ghost Rider"
would tell you that many superhero
flicks are simply the worst movies
ever made. Whether it's immaturity,
testosterone, nostalgia or a savior
Relocation complex, the reason we like super-
hero movies isn't so hard to guess.
assistance from But it's still a challenge to specifi-
n UNIVERSIT OF MICHIGAN SPIDEY b
From page 9 a,
Comedian Jerry Seinfeld did per-
haps as good a job as anyone in a
timeless bit explaining "classic male
idiot superhero thinking": "When
men are growing up and they're
reading Batman, Spider-man,
Superman - these aren't fantasies.
He said it. We the people of 9-to-
5 monotony, of oil changes, dentist
appointments, cubicle clips and Vita-
min Water with Big Mac lunches see
ourselves in these superheroes. And
quite frankly, we like what we see.
Perhaps this accessibility explains
why the "Spider-man" films have
been so much more successful com-
mercially than any of the others.
Without question "Batman Begins"
was the best film and "Hulk" was
the most artistically creative. Yet,
it's Raimi's "Spider-man 3" that just
obliterated the weekend box-office
record, despite a lukewarm critical
There's just something about that
Peter Parker that seems so, well, me.
w through traffic, or fighting a
ad guy while freefallingor using
webtograb andhurl something.
t just doesn't seem like there's a F
'hole lot left to do. With the film 5ee
dready suffering so much dra- reco
natically, not even the action can
;ave it. an e
"Spider-man 3" is miles from "Pira
erfection. What should've been "
'Returnof the King"is more "The oper
odfather: Part III." Despite the day I
act that it will break records and platE
ecoup its enormous production acco
osts, it has wasted something T
r more valuable than money: milli
This guy still rides his bike, speaks
in nerdy convulsions and deals with
charming competence when you're
sure he's in way over his head. Like
the best of our superheroes, Spider-
man is what we'd be if everything
went right, if the world didn't break
our hearts. On the big screen, even
maliciously, our heroes never waver.
And forthat moment, neither do we.
So we shouldn't be shocked as the
next couple of summers bring addi-
tional chapters in the Batman and
Superman series, as well as more
heroes like Iron Man, Ant Man, Cap-
tain America, and maybe even The
Green Lantern, to the big screen.
Be they good films or bad, the con-
sciousness that brought about these
heroes is unmistakable.
Whether we need an escape, an
inspiration or just a reminder that
that bionic spider is still out there
and may yet find us, the $6.50 you
pay for two hours of virtue, van-
quished foibles and a stonewalling of
righteousness is worth every penny.
ollowing in the footsteps ofthe first film in the
s, Sam Raimi's "Spider-man 3" broke several
rds at the box office this weekend. According to
stimated $148million dollars in its first weekend.
eclipses the previous record of $135.6 million setby
tes of the Carribean: Dead Man's Chest"lastJuly.
Spider-man 3" also set records for biggest
ning day ($59.3 million on Friday), biggest Satur-
($51 million), quickest to reachthe $100 million
au and largest IMAX opening ($4.8 million),
rding to Box Office Mojo.
he film has an official production budget of $258
ion, though some estimatesgauged that number
well above $300 million.
photographer, once he's infected
bythe alien suit, when told to "act
like a badass," he has to resort to
doing abad John Travoltaimpres-
U sion that combines Danny Zuko
from "Grease" and Tony Manero
from "Saturday Night Fever."
The CGIis top-notch as always,
but it appears a creative limit has
been reached in the choreogra-
phy of "Spider-man" fight scenes.
omplete the grid so that every row, column There are only so manytimes you
very 3x3 box contains the digits 1 to 9. can watch Spidey swinging really
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