Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Spins a Web

  • movie review: Spiderman II [2004]

    Spiderman II - 'Street' posterIt's nice to go into a film with high expectations and come out fully satisfied. It's rare these days, but Spiderman II succeeds in spades. Starring Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker/Spiderman, Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane, Alfred Molina as Doc Ock/Dr. Otto Octavius, the film's first act smartly chooses to focus on the human element: primarily Peter Parker fighting his demons[the internal conflict of whether he should be Spiderman or just be Peter Parker] and maybe more importantly how he handles the relationships(in particular with Mary Jane) around him. This focus made the film a much more darker film, along the lines of Batman, than the first Spiderman. Spiderman II has it's share of cool action sequences, that although CGI created, are, at least in my opinion, very fluid and natural looking. Doc Ock, in full transformation, was much more visually satisfying than the Green Goblin in the first film, who in comparison seemed like a guy with a mask on[well come to think of it, that's basically what the Green Goblin was]. A major plus for families, and for which I was quite surprised was that considering some of the fight sequences, and the potential for bloody results, the film did not show any graphic violence. There are satisfying moments in the plot, especially in the last act of the film, which at first seem to pander to the wishes of the audience. However, reading that the film stays fairly true to the comic, I'm more inclined to think that director Sam Raimi and the film's writers, did a fine job of bringing to life the plot of the comic. Tobey Maguire displayed an appealing vulnerability in Peter Parker. Kirsten Dunst portrayed Mary Jane, the damsel-in-distress/love interest, competently. Alfred Molina approached Doc Ock/Dr. Otto Octavius with subtlety yet personality that was somewhat lacking in Willem Dafoe's slightly over-the-top performance of the Green Goblin in the first film. There's a nice setup at the end which leaves the series open to a third installment and I'm looking forward to number 3!

  • As reported by Billboard, Rhino continues it's Elvis Costello reissues series with reissues of 1981's "Almost Blue",1984's "Goodbye Cruel World" and 1995's "Kojak Variety" on August 3, 2004, and each will include as usual "a full second disc of live cuts, B-sides, alternate takes and demo recordings".

  • Launch reports that the new Libertines album was leaked over the weekend on the net, likely by a music industry insider who had an advanced copy of the disc. I'm quite a late-comer to The Libertines bandwagon, but I just got their debut "Up The Bracket" several weeks ago and it's an absolutley stupendous record: melodic, punky, ramshackle, rough-hewn, raw, and by my first impressions coming across like a combination of The Clash(considering it was produced by Mick Jones), The Undertones(at least vocally), and The Jam.

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