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Plot: Based on Marvel Comics' superhero character, this is a story of Peter Parker who is a nerdy high-schooler. He was orphaned as a child, bullied by jocks, and can't confess his crush for his stunning neighborhood girl Mary Jane Watson. To say his life is "miserable" is an understatement. But one day while on an excursion to a laboratory a runaway radioactive spider bites him... and his life changes in a way no one could have imagined. Peter acquires a muscle-bound physique, clear vision, ability to cling to surfaces and crawl over walls, shooting webs from his wrist ... but the fun isn't going to last. An eccentric millionaire Norman Osborn administers a performance enhancing drug on himself and his maniacal alter ego Green Goblin emerges. Now Peter Parker has to become Spider-Man and take Green Goblin to the task... or else Goblin will kill him. They come face to face and the war begins in which only one of them will survive at the end. Runtime: 121 mins Release Date: 23 May 2002
Raimi and Maguire weave a magical web in this excellent comic adaptation (by clydestuff)
Studios lately have been known to spend almost $200 million dollars bringing a comic book super hero to life on the silver screen. With $200 million dollars you can buy many state of the art special effects for the director to full around with to his hearts content. If in the process, though, he decides to fore-go an entertaining story and script, characters that we can get to know and sympathize with, and good actors to bring those characters to life, all the special effects in the world isn't going to amount to a hill of beans. Fortunately for us, in bringing Marvel Comic's <more>
Spiderman to life, Sam Raimi did care about those little details and the audience is richly rewarded because of it.One of the trickier tasks when transferring a film such as Spiderman to film is in giving us enough background story. If a writer and director spend too much time on the origins of the character, it has a tendency to bog the rest of the film down. Likewise, if it is given short thrift, we never have a chance to become involved emotionally with the super-hero. In Spiderman, Raimi, aided immeasurably by Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker/Spiderman strikes just the right note. Maguire is such an accomplished actor, that he immediately establishes Peter Parker as someone we will care about throughout the film. He has a crush on the beautiful girl next door, Mary Jane Watson Kirsten Dunst , is constantly harassed by the school jerk, and has a best friend, Harry James Franco , who's relationship with his father Norman Willem Dafoe is far from perfect. As for Peter, he has an exceptional home life with his Uncle Ben Cliff Robertson and Aunt May Rosemary Harris which is probably one of the reasons Harry develops an early kinship with him. That and the fact that Harry's father seems to think more of Peter than he does of his own son at times. After having been bitten by a mutated spider, Peter awakens one morning to find himself with some exceptional super powers. He develops muscles that he didn't have before, has reflexes Michael Jordan would be proud of, and can shoot a web like nobody's business. It is during these early scenes of discovery by Peter that the film truly excels. Maguire is like a child whom after taking his first steps, learns he can motor about the house quite nicely, thank you very much. We can't help but have as much fun watching Peter Parker hone his skills as he seems to have in being able to do these magnificent feats.Another fine aspect of Spiderman is the love story that develops between Parker and Mary Jane. As Peter Parker, he is never able to quite overcome his inability to tell Mary Jane of his true feelings. Later, as Spiderman, there is a wonderful scene between him and Mary Jane in a drenching downpour that any romantic film would envy.Whereas some have not been too enamored of Dafoe's portrayal as Norman Osborn/Green Goblin, I found both to be right on the mark. As Norman, we see how his continuous drive to control his company alienates and spoils the relationship he has with his son Harry. It's not that Norman is an evil person, his quest for power has led him to more or less take his son for granted. Later, when after a lab accident, it is the schizophrenic battle between the normal Harry and the Evil Harry that brings the Green Goblin to life. It would have been easy for Raimi to have the lab accident just turn Harry instantly into the Green Goblin, but instead we get a richer more dramatic story that we wouldn't have had otherwise.Likewise James Franco, who looks enough like Dafoe that they could be father and son, is a youth who seems tormented by the fact that no matter what success he achieves, his father never gives him his just due. Kirsten Dunst is also beautiful and charming as Mary Jane. Her romantic scenes with Spiderman are wonderfully played, and she has an especially moving scene with Peter Parker as the film draws to a close.As for the special effects, they are indeed spectacular. As Spiderman swoops between buildings on his web, you won't think once that it's not really him doing so. When reading IMDB reviews of this film or any other film that depends heavily on special effects, one must keep in mind that it has become more or less a hobby among some to downgrade the effects of any film so my advice is to just ignore the criticism in that regard. The effects here are fine.Two years ago, it was with quite a bit of eagerness that I anticipated Raimi's Spiderman film and it lived up to my hopes in every aspect. If the impending sequel comes even close to being as good as the original, it'll be a job well done. And if a film such as Spiderman can have me counting the days until Spiderman II, than I have no choice but to give it my grade, which for Spiderman is an A.
Usually when there is a big summer movie I am looking forward to, I wait and wait and then the movie comes out and it is a big disappointment. I really looked forward to the American Godzilla movie and by golly it was a huge disappointment. Then I really looked forward to Star Wars episode 1 and although it was not the disappointment Godzilla was, it was still a disappointment. Spider-man however was everything I was hoping it to be. In fact, it has to be considered one of the best comic book adaptations ever. It actually took parts of the comic book and incorporated it into the movie. Unlike <more>
most comic book movies where the story doesn't come from any of the comic books. Sure there are some departures such as the organic web shooters, but this is acceptable seeing as how watching Peter Parker learning he has them makes for some humorous scenes. The entire cast did a great job capturing the characters they were playing and there are some great fights as well. This is also a departure from most comic book movies where there is really no good fight at all between the heroes and villains.
Iconic, Electrifying, Classy, Vibrant, and Emotionally Stimulating, Spider-Man Represents the Gold Standard in Superhero Blockbusters (by jaredpahl)
The world of movie superheroes began with Superman, thrived with Batman, and reached its ultimate apex with Spider-Man. 2002's biggest movie event combines the slam bang roller coaster rush of Batman with the heart, sweetness, and aw-shucks sincerity of DC's other titan, into a comic book adaptation that is as close to perfect as any will ever come. A joyous blast of post-9/11 American verve, crafted with class and a keen eye for storytelling, Sam Raimi's 2002 mega-hit is a once-in-a-lifetime, generation defining summer blockbuster, and in the eyes of this Generation <more>
Spider-Man-er, it's still the gold standard in superhero cinema.Spider-Man takes most of its cues from 1978's Superman: The Movie. Peter Parker's journey from unassuming geek to high-flying hero mimics the Man of Steel's in story and tone. The colorful comic spirit of Richard Donner's gleefully exciting original is all here, just Marvel-fied. Raimi and screenwriter David Koepp approach Spider-Man's origin with reverence for Stan Lee and Steve Ditko's original story. Koepp's script hits all the beats you'd expect Spider bite, wrestling match, great power, and all that , but it also includes, unexpectedly, an intelligent, eloquent emotional foundation. Raimi and Koepp understand who Peter Parker is, and how his transformation into Spider-Man can metaphorically parallel his development as a character. In being confronted by new and strange spider powers, Peter is also confronted by the responsibilities of manhood. Koepp takes Stan Lee's best idea That Peter Parker should grapple equally between supervillains and everyday problems , and pushes it to its logical max. Peter's infatuation with girl-next-door, Mary Jane Watson Kirsten Dunst is given equal importance to his struggle with Norman Osborne's manic alter ego, the Green Goblin Willem Dafoe . The result is pretty well timeless. The quintessential Spider-Man story. A coming of age tale that gracefully weaves together every important aspect of the wall-crawler's mythos into a grand concoction of pure Spider-Man. Enhancing the story is one of the great casting jobs in motion picture history. First and foremost is Tobey Maguire, who was a revelation as Peter Parker/ Spider-Man. Like Christopher Reeve before him, Maguire completely defines the role. His Parker is a good kid; shy, dorky, and believably square. He radiates with innocence and later, teenage anxiety. As Spider-Man, he's delightfully charismatic. Lively, but never annoyingly brash in the way other Spideys have been. In the costume or not, every subsequent Spidey will live in his shadow. Maguire's casting was a stroke of genius, but it was no anomaly. Kirsten Dunst is a luminous MJ, and she and Peter's romance sparkles with charm. Willem Dafoe relishes his Green Goblin role, with a voice and presence that burn with comic book intensity. And the perfection doesn't stop there. The colorful supporting cast is just plain superb, with a legendary turn from J.K. Simmons as the hard-nosed newspaper man, J. Jonah Jameson, and two measured, twinkle-in-their-eyes performances by Cliff Robertson and Rosemary Harris as Uncle Ben and Aunt May.But Spider-Man belongs to Sam Raimi. A Spider-Man superfan since childhood, Raimi was destined to bring the web-slinger to life. The offbeat sense of violent fun and jubilant cinematic showmanship that made Evil Dead and Darkman so entertaining is precisely what was needed to bring Spider-Man's New York to dazzling light. And what a creation Raimi's Spider-Verse is! The tone, with a precarious balance of larger-than-life action and textured character moments, never wavers once. Raimi crafts in Spider-Man, a New York where the archetypical comic book mainstays: the cackling villains, the wise-cracking heroes, and the pedestrians who shout to the skies "Look, it's Spider-Man!", fit just as well as the richly drawn human characters. Raimi and the creative team behind the film's production design deserve the highest of praises. There is nothing else that combines style and realism to such astonishing effect. It's as if forty years of comics have been distilled into a real world somewhere alongside our own. Spider-Man is a captivating movie to look at. The action scenes are as fast and fun as the best of Cameron or Spielberg, but Raimi adds his own comic book punch, a kind of visceral razor-sharpness that leaps off the screen. The climactic showdown alone is as brutal, shocking, and frighteningly violent a movie battle as you will ever see. And when Spider-Man swings through the Manhattan skyline, you feel the exhilaration like you're right there with him. Despite a moment or two of spotty CGI from Sony Imageworks, the special effects here are world class too. The digital Spidey moves with a grace and elegance that would have been inconceivable just ten years prior, but digital or not, every time Spider-Man was on screen, I couldn't take my eyes off of it.Spider-Man showcases Sam Raimi at his exuberant best. Every frame of this movie is bursting with life. Whether it's the often gripping action scenes or the carefully crafted soap operatic drama, Spider-Man is an enthusiastic piece of crowd-pleasing entertainment, a passionate celebration of the Spider-Man mythos, and above all, a work of unparalleled quality. Blockbusters, especially superhero movies, with their all but guaranteed profits, can often breed lazy filmmaking. Sam Raimi and company fly in the face of that conceit. The filmmakers have taken the time to really craft this film. Wrapped up in all the soaring spectacle is something real; An enchanting love story, a poignant morality tale about becoming the man you will be for the rest of your life. Spider-Man recalls the kind of stand-up-and-cheer excitement that Hollywood has lost in the post Dark Knight/Avengers world of superhero movies. Raimi doesn't try to transcend the genre. Spider-Man is not "more" than a comic book movie, but through sheer craftsmanship, it is as perfect a comic book movie as can be made. I can't imagine that we will ever see the stars align in such a perfect way again. Spider-Man came together exactly as it should have, with exactly the right people, at exactly the right time for the country. Seeing this movie in theaters was an experience I will never forget, and the film still stands as the standard for what superhero blockbusters can be.95/100
Normally I can't stand movies derived from comics, for example the duds that were the Hulk & Daredevil, but this one surprised me.An excellent take on the comic book character created by Stan Lee. Next to the X-Men movies that came out about the same time, and Superman with Christopher Reeve, it is definitely one of the better Comic to Movie films put out.The cast is well chosen. McGuire is Spiderman/Peter Parker to me. I don't think they could have chosen better. Kirsten Dunst makes a decent Mary Jane Watson, wasn't ever fond of her to begin with, but it's pulled off <more>
well. Willem Dafoe as the Green Goblin is sheer genius. The story is well written and keeps you along for the entire ride, coupled with action that's explosive and thrilling. Definitely fun for all, even die hard Spidey fans won't be disappointed! Fun for all! 9/10.
DVD review - yep, definitely a fun movie, and a great DVD to own. (by TxMike)
Breaking with usual tradition, the "Spider-Man" DVD was released today, a Friday. At around $15 almost everywhere, for the 2 disk set, it was too good a bargain to pass up. I hadn't seen the film in theaters so this was my first viewing. Definitely entertaining, with a good mix of action and budding romance, the film of the beginnings of Spider-Man. Although I was a bigger fan of Superman as a kid, I also have good memories of the Spider-Man comics, and this film is very faithful.no SPOILERS here - The 2 disk DVD set is one of the better ones. The picture itself is extremely <more>
sharp, and very colorful, with a very clear and dynamic Dolby 5.1 sound track. Surround sound complements the picture masterfully, so that the viewer seems right in the middle of the action. **POINT** - As I have explained in other reviews, anyone still watching movies at home on VHS needs to get rid of it now! It is a different movie on DVD, the quality of the picture, the quality of the sound, not to mention all the extras. With a widescreen TV it is almost like being in a theater.The EXTRAS - In addition to the movie, disk one has a feature that pops up a spider icon at certain spots that, when "clicked", jumps you to a brief "making of" segment for that scene, then jumps you back to the movie. Plus there are two different, selectable commentaries for anyone who likes the re-watch a movie and hear what went into its making.Disk two is completely devoted to "extras", like screen tests, an HBO special, and other aspects of making "Spider-Man." Also included is an archive of Spider-Man comics covers from the 1960s to now, grouped by decade, and written script to summarize the basic story of each issue. A "must have" for all Spider Man comics fans.There have been a few user reviews on IMDb, usually very short, which trash this movie, and may even say something like "avoid this movie". Be certain those are "bogus" reviews, written for some deceptive purpose, I know not why. For anyone who enjoys any kind of fantasy action movie with a good message, "Spider-Man" is a definite "must-see."
Peter Parker is a typical 18 year old who is smart, but is picked on by Jocks and is too shy to talk to the beautiful Mary Jane Watson who lives next door. Until the day he is bitten by a radio active spider, then the next day he feels different, he can sense things coming at him, he can spin a web, he also has incredible strength, and he can stick to walls. At first Peter decides to use his new powers for show, but after a terrible tragedy, Peter decides to use his powers to stop crime and help people, by becoming Spiderman. Then a super villain called the green Goblin is bent on mass <more>
destruction, it is then up to Spiderman to stop him. I enjoyed this movie because it had a lot of action and was not boring.
A really great comic book adaptation (by MaxBorg89)
"With great power comes great responsibility".These words, spoken by Peter Parker's uncle Ben Cliff Robertson during their last conversation and which have become Spider-Man's motto, also perfectly represent the challenge Sam Raimi was facing when asked to bring one of America's most loved superheroes to the screen.You can relax, fellas: Raimi's movie is definitely worth a look.Loosely based on the origin story and the Stan Lee/John Romita Sr. run, it's a fascinating mix of spectacular action and powerful drama, as it chronicles Peter Parker's Tobey Maguire <more>
transformation into a superhuman and the responsibilities deriving from said metamorphosis: while fighting crime to avenge his uncle's death, he also has to deal with his feelings for Mary Jane Watson Kirsten Dunst and his friendship with Harry Osborn James Franco ; add Harry's father Norman Willem Dafoe , who's become schizophrenic psycho Green Goblin, and you've got a quite complicated situation.Raimi's excellent at showing us the hero's pain, as well as the one he causes to others, and he gets terrific performances from the entire cast, particularly Maguire, Dafoe and Robertson.On its own, it's a very good superhero flick, alongside the sequel, it's an absolute masterpiece.Recommended even if you don't care about the comics.
Well done - can't wait for the sequel (by timefreezer7)
Directed by Sam RaimiWritten by David KoeppStarring: Tobey Maguire , Willem Dafoe , Kirsten Dunst and James FrancoAfter years of anticipation and a never ending court battle concerning the legal rights , a big budget cinematic adaptation of the well known comics superhero has finally made it to the movie theaters . First of all I should say I was never much of a Spider-man fan , I have never read comics but is there any person on earth who doesn't know the red clad hero who jumps from building to building ? I doubt so . My only knowledge of Spider-man was some cartoon show where he makes <more>
a dynamic trio with Iceman and Fire-Star . I am not aware of anyone of Spidey's enemies and I was not familiar with his origin and motives . Nevertheless I am keen on comics generally and I always like seeing comics characters materialize on celluloid . So I got really excited when I heard that the project FINALLY got green-lighted and that Sam Raimi eventually took it upon him to shoot the Spider-man motion picture . I will have to admit that most of the comments are 100% right . Spider-man 2002 may not be a GREAT film but it sure is a good one and it beats the hell out of the overrated and disappointing 2000's X-Men .I don't think the plot is significant . The movie remains as faithfully to its comics origins as it could be and it satisfies both the hardcore well-knowing fans and the uninitiated like I am . Peter Parker Tobey Maguire is a nerdy 17 year old student , not much accepted by his social environment and constantly being picked by his bullies classmates . He has a secret crush on the beautiful girl next door Mary Jane `M.J.' Watson Kirsten Dunst but she hardly knows he exists . When he is bitten by a mutated super spider he is bestowed with special powers like climbing on windows with his bare albeit sticky hands , ejecting spider nets from his arms , incredible acrobatic agility and enhanced danger-approaching instinct. While he tries to adjust to his newly obtained powers he finds himself caught in a war that a fiendish super criminal called the Green Goblin has declared against him . The Green Goblin is a maniac who wreaks havoc and kills innocent people using military equipment and weaponry . He believes that Spider-Man is the only real threat and wants to bring him down . The Green Goblin is actually the alter-ego of Norman Osborn Willem Dafoe a very wealthy businessman / scientist who has started developing a split personality and the deranged Green Goblin becomes more and more dominant driving him to madness . Norman's son is Harry James Franco who coincidentally is Peter's best friend and classmate . So Spider-Man will try to stop the Green Goblin before he kills more civilians and simultaneously will try to get Mary Jane's attention .That's it folks . The film spends much more time on the love story between Peter and Mary Jane and less on action . I always like character development and human relationships unfolded in superhero films but a little more action wouldn't heart either . Basically we see Spider-Man beat up some random thugs on alley streets and that's it . The balloon sequence in the middle of the film is nice but awfully reminiscent of Batman 1989 . I wish there were more epic battles between Spider-man and Green Goblin with more explosions . Some other things I didn't like either were : 1 Even worse CGI SFX than the robot soldiers in the Phantom Menace !!! I never thought it could happen but here it is . The shots of Spider-Man in the beginning of the film jumping from the top of a building to another is a lame cartoon that will not convince even a 3 year old viewer . I cannot describe how laughable and fake this Spider-man cartoon is : you will have to see for yourselves .2 The acting is average from all the actors . None of them manages to deliver fully the dramatic depth of the characters as scripted by the writer. The worst performance belongs to Willem Dafoe . His mirror communication scene was nicely scripted but Dafoe is extremely bad and unconvincing . What exactly happened here ? I liked him in Body of Evidence and Speed II but his talents seem to have been erased in this film . I will have to admit that some of the Green Goblin's lines gave me the creeps but can anyone assure me that it was really him under the suit or his voice for that matter ? Maguire's and Dunst's acting is better but still mediocre . Speaking of the duo , one other flaw is that they don't have enough chemistry together like Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder . If they made a more fitting pair the screen time spent in their romance would be more worthily used . And if James Franco has the most impact screen presence is because his character requires for him to sit back and look calm and cool and it is obvious that's the reason why they cast him . The secondary characters like Peter's uncle and aunt act OK but that newspaper editor was too annoying to like him.3 The Green Goblin is never developed and is not much of a formidable foe . Maybe it was intentional to give him little screen time in order not to pull another scene-stealer a la Joker and give all the focus on Spider-Man . Unfortunately a great action film always needs a powerful evil character to be the opposition AND the driving force for the hero's existence . Aside from these flaws the movie has all the features of a good blockbuster . The red suit of Spider-Man is faithful and really convinces us that the character has come to life ! There are some good scenes like the one where Peter finally beats up one the bullies in school . My favorite scene in the movie is a great surprise and that's why I cannot give it away. All I can say if you haven't watched the film , is the sequence where the Green Goblin sings `The itsy , bitsy spider.' . I also digged the final duel between Spider-Man and Green Goblin . Without being too violent it is an exciting fight , larger-than-life and worth our money . I just wish the rest of the movie reached the same adrenaline levels . Despite a lackluster performance , Tobey Maguire was perfectly cast as Peter Parker . He suits the geeky looks the character has and convinces as a 17 year old with continually growing power physical and personal . The film has an obvious open end as a set up for the sequel . Much like some recent blockbusters like the Matrix or X-Men the first film is clearly an introductory chapter wanting to lure the audience to a whole franchise . You wait for more action in the next film , more exploitation of the potential of the story and you have a curiosity to find out where the relationships between the protagonists will lead . Spider-Man however manages to rise above the aforementioned films . Why ? Because it is a GOOD introduction . Where X-Men made the mistake of under using 10 characters without any success , Spider-Man has ONE main character . This is what I like most about Raimi's film . We follow Peter Parker from the very beginning . We have a taste of his life before the drastic change occurs and then we have the transformation in front of our eyes full play ! There is not a single superhero film that bothered to show us the beginning of the character . Obviously they thought it would be dull for the already initiated comic book fans but they were wrong . Yes there are other films with scenes were the motives were explained like Batman and some opening establishing scenes like the first Superman . But Raimi's Spider-Man is unique : we SEE Peter Parker training with his super powers , trying to control them and we even get to see him pick his costume . Now I will keep my reservations because I have yet to see the recent batch of Marvel comic-book adaptations like Daredevil or Hulk but for now Spider-Man is the best introducing film you will find . The metaphor about the responsibility of a teenager turned into a mature adult is also explored . The realistic approach is successful here . First of all the first thing Peter does with his powers is to try earning money . Only later he decides to use them for the city 's good and safety . Secondly despite some nitpicking from fans it is quite logical that Spider-man's web-shooting is an organic power . Peter is just 17 and as much as he is supposed to be a science genius he wouldn't have the money or the technology to invent some synthetic web shooters . The Green Goblin outfit sure looks like a Power Ranger suit but it is also realistic as it is a piece of military equipment and not a Halloween costume . New York City is depicted as a shiny town and establishes a truly existing environment for the story to take place .Spider-Man 2002 for all its weaknesses is a good film with some of the best narrative I have seen . The voice-overs by Maguire help us identify with him even more . The film is better than some other comic book flicks like Phantom or Spawn not entirely their fault since these characters are less appealing and therefore less known Dick Tracy , The Mask or the Shadow good idea but mediocre script / execution or over hyped blockbusters like the X-Men . It will not be a classic like Superman II or Batman but it is one of the best of the bunch of the `comic-book' genre . I rank it up there with the 3 Batman sequels , Judge Dredd and the original Superman . SPIDER-MAN 2002 8 / 10
played by Willem Dafoe in a dual personality type role with Norman Osborne. Watching the movie, I liked the set up parts and the connection between Maguire and Dunst is there, but on the outset when I saw it early on I was not so much a fan of the action sequences, which compared to Raimi's grittier and funnier to be sure Evil Dead movies, are so fabricated they might as well have credited Pixar as one of the production companies. The work though shows a little better once settled further into the Parker saga, and the real skills come through better. And compared to others that have come out in more recent years, it is exciting in ways other action set pieces from other comic book movies aren't. I even dig the performances more too, especially Willem Dafoe as Osbourne/Green Goblin, who puts as much gnarly relish into his performance that it ranks up there with his best work. Maybe part of it too is accepting Maguire as Parker/Spiderman, as he has an awkwardness early on that's uncanny. But it fits, and it perhaps grows in the sequel s , and seeing it again I appreciate what he's doing in the character. In short, it's fun, and that's all we can really ask for. B+