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Spiderman 3

May 19, 2007

Wow, it’s been awhile. Sorry, but it’s been inventory time at work, which meant later evenings. But I’m back now, so don’t worry.

We celebrated the end of inventory today by taking the family to a new park – once the pics are developed there will be a new “travel” entry – so stay tuned. Denise and I also celebrated by going to see Spiderman 3… It was Awesome! So, for those of you counting at home, I’ve now been to two movies this year and they’ve both been excellent… 2 for 2 – not bad, eh?

First off, let me say that Spiderman 3 was thoroughly entertaining. The effects were awesome and the action was turned up a notch from the previous installments. The characters were more interesting and the love story was more believable and mature this time. Also, the acting especially stood out to me this time. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of the previous two Spidermans (they’re probably my favorite of all the “superhero” flicks), but the acting was a little cheesy in those movies. Topher Grace of That Seventies Show was particularly good. There was plenty of edge of your seat moments, plenty of stand up and cheer moments (ok, I never really stood up, but I wanted to), some good emotional moments (Denise cried, I, uh, didn’t), and some very funny moments – I laughed out loud a number of times – especially the scene with Bruce Campbell in the French restaurant. All in all, the entertainment value alone made Spiderman 3 well worth the price of admition (and even worth the $3.75 I had to pay for the “hot dog” that my pregnant wife was craving), but there was something else that made the movie great – the Christian symbolism.

I’ll try not to spoil anything, but I do want to point out a few things that you should watch for if you go to see Spiderman 3. To begin with, one thing I’ve always liked about the Spiderman movies is the clear division between good and evil. Spiderman is a literal “good guy” who always puts others before himself (with great power comes great responsibility), while the bad guys are ruled by selfish desires. This quality is even more evident in Spidey 3. Also, another thing I’ve always liked is the innocence of the Spiderman movies. Whereas in the latest Superman flick you have a superhero with an illegitate son, in Spiderman the symbol of true love has been “The Kiss.” In a time when practically every movie or t.v. show has people having sex with each other or behind their partners backs, it’s refreshing to watch a movie where a kiss is emphasized (this is also true when it comes to the movie’s “act of betrayal” – it’s a kiss).  Along the same lines, listen to what Aunt May says is necessary for a successful marriage – this isn’t something you hear on the big screen nowadays!

The most interesting feature in Spiderman 3 has to do with the black Spiderman – or Venom. A strange, black, alien substance crashes to the earth and attaches itself to Peter Parker – creating a black Spiderman. This Spiderman is evil and commits all of the seven deadly sins (I may be reaching here, and some are obviously more emphasized than others, but I thought the scene where Parker is eating cookies and milk while on the phone was an allusion to gluttony). This black substance is clearly symbolic of sin – specifically pride, which is said to be the worst of the seven deadly sins – the root of all the others. Eventually this substance causes Parker to do the unthinkable, and he realizes he must get rid of this substance. The next scene shows him on a church steeple underneath a cross. He struggles with the substance – a very real and powerful struggle (the “sin” does not want to go), but he eventually succeeds in shedding the “sinful flesh”. Beautifully, the next scene is a “baptism.” We then see the new, resurrected Parker don his “new flesh (the good Spidey suit)” and he rights his wrongs and conquers the bad guy(who, ironically, was the “pharisee” in church for the wrong reason when the suit was discarded). There is even (at least) two powerful instances of forgiveness – which is a major theme of this movie… I don’t won’t to spoil anything, so I’ll leave it at that. There are probably other symbolic references in the movie, and if ya’ll go to see it, and find any, let me know. These are just the ones that were very obvious to me and stuck with me. Anyways, I highly recommend this movie and I would love to hear what any of you thought about it!

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Denise permalink
    May 21, 2007 9:35 pm

    For the record, I didn’t actually cry-I probably poked that lower lip out pretty far; but I may have if I didn’t get that hot dog! 🙂 Love you!

  2. May 24, 2007 12:57 am

    I skimmed your review, because I haven’t seen it yet and didn’t want to bias myself one way or the other. I was just mentioning to Patrick the other day our preoccupation with trilogy movies. I find it interesting that we don’t consider a story finished unless it is in 3 parts. 4 is too many, 2 is incomplete. Do we have an innate sense of comfort with things in threes because of the trinity? I suppose that could be stretching it a bit, but it’s something to think about!

  3. May 25, 2007 12:10 am

    Hey Brian,

    Great review. Enjoyed it thoroughly, as well as the movie. I especially liked your note about the seven deadly sins.

    Admittedly, there are a few plot foibles that I picked up on after a second viewing, but it is still a great way to kick off the summer movie season.

    Interestingly, there was a fair amount of foreshadowing too: Harry’s comments about giving his life for his friends, and Aunt May telling Peter she told Uncle Ben “No” when he first proposed.

    Cheers,

    Joe

  4. Rod Honeycutt permalink
    May 25, 2007 7:52 am

    Brian,
    Great review! Good catch with the sinful flesh/new flesh symbolism. Hey, come to think of it, the “instrument” was the church bell, used for “Call to worship”!
    Thanks,
    Rod

  5. May 28, 2007 8:11 am

    WG,

    Good point – that is curious. Three deffinately is the perfect sequel number… that must be why all 9 of the Police Academy’s are so good – the triple trinity!

    Joe,

    Twice, huh? Man, you really do need to get married – too much time on your hands! 🙂
    I do agree with the plot foibles – especially the ol’ “petty thug happens upon top secret experiment, falls in sand pit, and becomes the Sandman”…. sure. But, hey, it’s Spiderman, not the English Patient.

    Rod,

    Good call on the bell!

  6. May 30, 2007 10:46 am

    Well, it wasn’t the whole how the Sandman became the Sandman – just wondering how the locket didn’t get it’s molecular structure changed, or how he could cry at the end since water is so dangerous to him.

    Twice, yes. First time opening night with friends from church. Second time with Deborah when we were in Nashville a couple of weekends ago. She was eager to see it too. (And just for the record, only 30 days to go!)

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