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Spidey

Saw Spiderman 2 today. I liked it. Naturally you cannot apply scientific skepticism to it, or it falls to pieces faster than performance-anxiety!Spidey tumbling from a building. But if you view it as you're supposed to--as a comic-book super-hero movie--it stands up pretty well. Could use some minor dialogue editing here and there, and yeah, I did wish he'd be a little less indecisive. But I still thought it was a heck of a lot better than many sequels. (Matrix, anyone?)

One scene I really loved was the bit on the subway. I don't mean the action part of it. Sure, we know he'll fight Doc Ock on the train, and we know he'll end up saving the passengers and not letting them fly off the tracks. The remarkable part, though, came when he whipped off his mask, and turned to look at the passengers as himself, as nothing more than lowly Peter Parker in a Spiderman outfit. And then, when he has stopped the train and passes out from exhaustion, gentle hands reach out from the broken windows and catch the unmasked Spidey, rescuing him from a deadly fall. They lift him quietly, and pass him crowd-surf style back into the car, where everyone kneels around in concern and fascination. When he wakes up, they thank him, say "We won't tell," and give him his mask back. They even try to defend him when the Doc returns--to no avail, of course, but the thought really was what counted.

Doesn't take serious psychoanalysis to figure out why this scene works so well. We all wonder sometimes, "If I were unmasked, if I were vulnerable, if everyone knew who I really was...would they still like me?" If anyone but ourselves asks the question, it's obvious to us the answer is "Yes." But still we wonder whether it's true for us, and therefore it touches us when people prove a truth I've long believed in: we love each other for being real, not for being perfect; and the more real someone becomes, the more likely we are to love them. None of us actually have secret superhero identities, but in this internet age we have other types of identities we hide behind, and it's common enough to feel angst about what's "real". Are we representing ourselves correctly? Are we deceptive? Are we being deceived by our web friends? Sure, it's a stretch, but those themes were struck for me, at least.

Anyhow...


Tobey Maguire, incidentally, is sheer adorableness. With or without the glasses. Smart, modest, noble, loyal, geeky--ahh, that's my type of boy.

-M.J.
(Seriously, those are my first two initials. Is that cool or what?)

Comments

( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
darthbeckman
Jul. 11th, 2004 05:54 pm (UTC)
Stopping a fusion reaction by DROWNING it?

Oy oy oy.
mollyringle
Jul. 13th, 2004 11:27 am (UTC)
Hehe - yeah, that's one of the places you have to suspend scientific inquiry. The group of us who went to the film commented on that too, on our way out. "Wouldn't it just boil the river away?..."

But, then, if we're willing to accept Spidey's superpowers, I don't see why we shouldn't accept the fusion dealie.
dirae
Jul. 11th, 2004 06:01 pm (UTC)
I have never seen Spiderman, nor will I unless I catch it on HBO. However, Tobey has been all over doing PR for this movie. He uttered this quotation during a recent Howard Stern broadcast: "It [Spiderman] is just a cash cow, so I can sit back and not have to worry about paying the rent. With the money I get from this, I can be very choosy about what I do in the future." Love his honesty.
mollyringle
Jul. 13th, 2004 11:29 am (UTC)
Hee. Oh, it's lightweight entertainment, and no mistake. Nice to hear an actor be honest about it, though. And I hope he does choose roles well in future. Hate to see decent actors take any stupid thing that comes their way.
sillybridget
Jul. 20th, 2004 07:14 pm (UTC)
I didn't think it as especially lightweight. It's not The Hours or anything, but if you analyze it, it is quite religious and about morality and fortitude. It's pretty amazing when you look beyond the red and blue brightness of it all. I enjoyed it more than Tobey in Seabiscuit, honestly.
trilliah
Jul. 11th, 2004 06:11 pm (UTC)
I was moved by the subway sequence myself, even though the cynic in me kept saying it was cheesy and why on EARTH was I awww-ing like that? But it was...well, moving!

...though I'm not quite sure anything beats Spidey standing in an Elevator complaining about his suit riding up at the crotch. Classic.
mollyringle
Jul. 13th, 2004 11:54 am (UTC)
There was a lot of cheese in the movie, no question. I must've been in the right mood for that particular scene, though. My husband noticed it, too... on the way out, before I'd said anything, he said, "I really liked the scene on the subway."

Now, the elevator comedy moment: heheh. I love things like that. Yes, I'm a dork, perhaps. :)
(Anonymous)
Jul. 11th, 2004 06:31 pm (UTC)
Hee hee
Hee hee, Tobey Maguire vaguely reminds me of Elijah Wood ;) Yum...

~ELIJAH FANGIRL! ONE OF MANY!!!~
elycia
Jul. 11th, 2004 10:35 pm (UTC)
Tobey Maguire would have made an interesting hobbit.
mollyringle
Jul. 13th, 2004 11:55 am (UTC)
Indeed - some Baggins resemblance there. But too tall. :)
jennae
Jul. 12th, 2004 12:10 am (UTC)
You know, I wasn't *that* impressed with the movie, however, the unmasking scene you mention did move me in a similar way.

However, I was not smooth enough to take the time to express that...
mollyringle
Jul. 13th, 2004 11:56 am (UTC)
No, it wasn't great overall, but I think I liked that one scene because it stood out so much in comparison to the rest. :)
bluesound
Jul. 12th, 2004 12:35 am (UTC)
-M.J.
(Seriously, those are my first two initials. Is that cool or what?)


Michael Jackson? oooooooooooow!
oloriel
Jul. 12th, 2004 01:20 am (UTC)
I would have liked the movie if it hadn't been for all that horrible, annoying "I love her/ I can't have her" stuff. It felt like stretching the film without really adding to it, because everyone knew this anyway.
The action parts were pretty well done, though. And the subway scene was great indeed (although it did remind me somewhat of the last Matrix sequel).
patientx
Jul. 12th, 2004 01:35 am (UTC)
-M.J.
(Seriously, those are my first two initials. Is that cool or what?)


Not really.
wildecate
Jul. 12th, 2004 04:52 am (UTC)
Are we representing ourselves correctly? Are we deceptive? Are we being deceived by our web friends? Sure, it's a stretch, but those themes were struck for me, at least.

I think I'd certainly be interested to know what my web friends think of me, what they think my character is like and see how far off it is from the "real" me.
mollyringle
Jul. 13th, 2004 11:58 am (UTC)
I think we all do wonder that. In my experience, though, when you meet online people in real life, they're not all that different than you expect. You generally have to adjust the previous mental image of them a little, but it usually still fits well in the end.
fifteensixty
Jul. 13th, 2004 06:54 am (UTC)
I have to say I found it strangely gratifying when Spider-Man finally revealed himself to the people on the train. I just thought "About damn time! You people should gaze upon the lovely boy and be grateful!"

Indeed, that probably was the best part of the movie. For most of the time, I found the movie quite annoying, what with the screaming women aplenty and the frustrating indecisiveness and the fact that, by the end of the movie, I hated Mary-Jane for being so ridiculously temperamental. Talk about mood swings.

Then there was the scientific problem with people thinking that big glowing things can always be destroyed with water, even in the case of fusion, but I can hardly criticise that after taking into account the fact that the hero of the movie has webs shooting out of his wrists...
mollyringle
Jul. 13th, 2004 12:00 pm (UTC)
Exactly. Thank you. I agree on all points: a) he's a lot cuter without the mask, b) the subway scene stood out because the rest of the film was comparably less impressive, c) MJ was rather annoying at times, and d) if we accept the superpowers, I guess we have to accept some really lame ideas about a ball of fusion-power. :)
(Anonymous)
Jul. 17th, 2004 09:58 am (UTC)
Buria
I'm no science whiz, but wouldn't one's skin start bubbling from being ten feet away from a mini-sun? Why would all those reporters come into a room containing a fusion experiment? It's not like people have ever went wandering inside the internal chambers of fission reactors, have they?
I love a sweet geek, but that part when he's trying to recite poetry at MJ while she's yelling at him made me totally squirm.

I adored Aunt May, so that kind of made up for the quantity of screaming women (including helpless MJ in clingy fleshtone dresses):P
mollyringle
Jul. 18th, 2004 04:52 pm (UTC)
Re: Buria
Well, if we're going to start picking on the science, we will have to question how a radioactive spider bite would give someone the power to climb walls and shoot webs, n'est-ce pas? :)
gavinworld
Aug. 9th, 2004 12:21 pm (UTC)
Doesn't take serious psychoanalysis to figure out why this scene works so well. We all wonder sometimes, "If I were unmasked, if I were vulnerable, if everyone knew who I really was...would they still like me?"

I found the subway scene very moving. At the moment when I come out to people as gay, I often feel a vulnerability similar to what he must have felt without his mask.

Tobey Maguire, incidentally, is sheer adorableness. With or without the glasses.

No arguments here!
mollyringle
Aug. 9th, 2004 05:31 pm (UTC)
At the moment when I come out to people as gay, I often feel a vulnerability similar to what he must have felt without his mask.

I can imagine! We all have our vulnerable secrets, but that's got to be a more powerful one than, say, mine. ("I've written sex scenes. Can you ever see me the same way again?")

And Tobey taking off his shirt in the window was a rather moving scene, too. In a different way of course. ;)
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )