Movies Reviews Spider-Man

Retro Sci-Fi Review: Spider-Man (2002)

Directed by Sam Raimi. Written by David Koepp. Starring Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, Willem Dafoe, and James Franco.

The Spring of Sci-Fi Review #11

Before this blog became The Number One Archives, it used to run under a different name. It used to be just me working alone on this blog. Occasionally, I will scroll through older posts that I did in the past. I noticed that there were a series of posts that I never finished. Today, I will finish the posts. The posts were about Sam Raimi’s superhero classic, Spider-Man (2002). After looking back, the posts were me giving summaries of the film while intoxicated. I remember that I was trying to have a movie marathon of the Holy Trilogy (original Spider-Man trilogy) two years ago. I watched the first two Spider-Man films, then I got sleepy so I never watched the third. I still plan on revisiting the third soon. Let’s talk about the first film.

If you haven’t seen the first film by now, shame on you. I will let younger audiences have a pass. They were probably raised in the Andrew Garfield/Tom Holland era more than likely. Tobey Maguire stars as Peter Parker, who is a high school student that gets bitten by a radioactive spider. The bite gifts Parker with powers, such as webbing, enhanced strength, enhanced agility, and spider-sense. After the murder of his beloved Uncle Ben, Parker adopts the moniker of Spider-Man and begins to fight the crime that took away his uncle. Spider-Man will get put to the test as the villain Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe) rises to prominence with a pure hatred for the hero. Spider-Man will have to risk his life to protect those he loves from the grasp of the Goblin’s fingertips.

Sam Raimi does an amazing job of capturing the essence of Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s work on Amazing Spider-Man. In the film, Peter Parker is a person that we all can relate to. He’s in high school with a few friends and a few bullies. Rosemary Harris (Aunt May) and Cliff Robertson (Uncle Ben) did a fantastic job of recreating that loving environment that Peter Parker had in the comics. Tobey Maguire’s charm that he has helps us to connect with the character and portray to us why the movie characters want to support Parker. He’s a good kid, who has these awful struggles.

The special effects are still great, though a few are starting to look dated. A majority of these effects are still fantastic because Raimi would use practical effects when he had the chance. Spider-Man’s web-slinging through New York still has that fluidity and acrobatic movement that is to admire. The fight scenes are brutal to this day, especially the final fight between Spider-Man and Green Goblin. Raimi manages to get violent as possible while being able to maintain the film’s PG-13 rating. All of the fight scenes are full of emotion as both hero and villain know each other personally.

Raimi does well blending the genres of science fiction and horror together. We get the science of Parker transforming into a hero to Norman Osborn/Green Goblin morphing into a super villain. In these transformation scenes, we get a sense of terror from Raimi’s direction. A prime example is the scene where Norman Osborn injects himself with drugs that make him into a super human. Dafoe goes absolutely absurd with his eyes rolled up in his head during the scene. It’s exciting, yet terrifying. A scene that will stick with you.

Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man is a classic that’s still memorable in millions of minds across the world. It showed that Marvel could be a heavy hitter like they are now in cinema. The world was taken by storm in 2002 when this movie released. It now has inspired several Spider-Man films to follow its path. Be warned…this film induces the drug known as nostalgia.

Overall rating: 4/5.

Comics Marvel Movies

Jalapeno Watches Spider-Man (2002) Again–Part 3

Peter tells Uncle Ben that he’s going to the library. Ben tells Peter that he’ll drop him off so he can speak to him one-on-one. Ben has noticed that Peter is different from before. After they arrive at the library, the two argue with each other. Peter is a bit of a jerk to Ben in what will be their final confrontation. Sam Raimi, the director, does an excellent shot of Ben driving away to enhance this moment.

After Ben’s death, Peter finds Ben’s killer inside of an abandoned warehouse. He takes the goon out, then decides to become a permanent crimefighter. As his crusade as a hero gets stronger, Norman Osborn dressed as a goblin starts wreaking more havoc. He starts using a glider with bombs to attack people that threaten him. He kills people as the drugs have overtaken his mind.

J. Jonah Jameson also makes an appearance as comedic relief. Peter starts working for the Bugle. Jameson gets into the crosshairs of the rivalry, but doesn’t get hurt. Jameson also starts calling Norman’s disguise the Green Goblin. The rivalry between Spider-Man and Green Goblin gets personal as the two deduce the other’s identity. Norman attacks the ones that Peter loves, which leads to an emotional climax.

Comics Marvel Movies

Jalapeno Watches Spider-Man (2002) Again–Part 2

Scene 5 is Peter checking out his pecs in the mirror after he awakens from the incident the night before. After he finishes admiring himself, he heads to school happily. He sees Mary Jane, who’s his next-door-neighbor, getting yelled at by her dad, who’s a dick. Peter just can’t get the courage to speak to her. I mean, she is beautiful. Mary Jane and Peter met differently in the comics. Aunt May introduces MJ to Peter in the books while the movie goes a different route. They’re neighbors who never got to know each other. MJ is popular while Pete isn’t. Pete has a better family life while she doesn’t.

Scene 7 is Norman Osborn being awakened by Harry Osborn. Harry asks Norman what happened and Norman can’t remember jack shit. The drug has wiped his memory. An office assistant tells Norman that his scientist at the lab is dead. Apparently Norman killed his ass.

After we see that Norman lost his memory, we join Peter back at school who’s eating lunch. His powers are starting to slowly appear. He saves MJ from slipping on the floor and busting her ass. Then, his webbing causes him to send his lunch plate to Flash Thompson’s head. They fight in the hall later where Peter does a ridiculous backflip that is too unreal. Anyway, Peter wins! And still looks like a creep to everyone.

Comics Marvel Movies

Jalapeno Watches Spider-Man (2002) Again–Part 1

Do you smell that folks? That is the ripe smell of nostalgia. Tonight…I revisit my childhood. Tonight…I watch the Spider-Man trilogy again. Even that cheesy third film of the trilogy. These posts will be in parts. Part 1 is the first 5 scenes of Spider-Man!

The beginning is the opening credits with amazing music by Danny Elfman! Damn! I love that score. It gets you excited for what’s about to unfold.

After the opening credits, we see Peter Parker chasing down the school bus. Tobey Maguire plays Peter Parker as a nerdy, lovable, and awkward teenagers who doesn’t have many friends. His crush, Mary Jane Watson, makes the asshole bus driver stop the cheese wagon for Pete. The bus stops at the location of the class field trip at Columbia University. Harry Osborn (James Franco) joins Peter at the trip after being dropped off by his father Norman Osborn (Willem Dafoe). Norman clearly likes Peter as they’re both science fanatics.

Inside of Columbia’s science department, the class is getting a tour of a room where scientists are genetically engineering spiders. Peter tries to snap a few photos of the spiders, but Flash Thompson with his goons keep screwing up Peter’s shots. Peter manages to catch Mary Jane alone at a spider display. He summons up the courage to get her picture when he’s bitten by a spider that has been genetically modified. It makes Pete not feel so good for the night.

Meanwhile, that same night, Norman tests a drug that is supposed to give humans enhanced abilities. The drug drives him freaking nuts and he attacks his assistant. Willem Dafoe looks freaky in this scene. Also, he would be a good Joker just saying. Either way, in one night, two men transform their bodies. Peter does on accident (spider bite) and Norman does on purpose (drug testing). Each man ends up more stronger and quicker than before.

Part 2 is scenes 6-10! That’s next!