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July 26, 2004

Spidey for nothing and your points for free!


Here are some random observations I made that you might have overlooked from Spider-Man 2:

1. Stan Lee, creator of Marvel Comics, has a cameo in Spidey 2, just as he did in Spidey the First. He saves a woman from falling debris on the street.

2. The movie's opening and closing images are Kirsten Dunst's face.

3. The movie sets up a choice for Peter: will he be Spidey or will he be Peter Parker? Critics seem to mostly think the decision is made when Pete regains his powers to save MJ near the movie's final battle. In truth, the decision is made in the final scene when MJ runs to his apartment and presents him a third choice: he can be both. "Why should we have to be just half of ourselves?" she says.

4. Somehow, miraculously, Doctor Octopus gained super-resilence. It is never explained how he could suddenly to be able to take not just one, but several, blows to the face from a super-strong Spidey and still keep fighting seemingly unhurt.

5. This is no a-ha moment, but the film goes into great depth explaining the fusion reaction, while not even mentioning the science (fiction) behind the more amazing of the breakthroughs... tentacles that have artificial intelligence, can speak through neural pathways and have a will of their own to go with a survival instinct.

The game is afoot!

Mention another "A-HA!" moment that I did not notice myself from Spider-Man 2. If I go "huh!" you get 25 points. If I go "wow!" you get 50 points.

If I noticed it before but didn't think it worthy of an "A-HA!" then thank you for playing.

UPDATE: Aside from the question of whether a man (or woman) can choose his own destiny, the theme of honesty runs through Spidey 2 as well. Will Pete be honest with MJ? Aunt May? Harry? Himself? It was very telling that Pete/Spidey spent most of the end of the movie in costume with his mask off. And what was the name of the play MJ was starring in? "The Importance of Being Earnest."

Posted by Dan at July 26, 2004 04:22 PM

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Well, I'm sure you noticed this and didn't consider it quite up to an "A-HA!" moment, but that was the magnificent Bruce Campbell--of Evil Dead fame--as the usher at the theater.

Who was also pure perfection in Bubba Ho-Tep, playing Elvis Presley. Man, that was an awesome movie.

Also, I think the whole bit with the chainsaw in the operating room when Doctor Octopus comes to life should get some kind of award for "Best Cameo By Sam Raimi's Evil Dead Trilogy." In fact, that entire scene was pure old school Raimi. I'm so happy he's doing these movies.

Posted by: Joel Caris at July 26, 2004 07:24 PM

It was Bruce Campbell! I KNEW I'd seen that mug (and attitude) before!

That's a "huh" if ever there was one. I HAD noticed it, but hadn't resolved it. That's good for 25 points in our next update.

Posted by: Big Dan at July 26, 2004 09:09 PM

The only part of the movie I didn't enjoy was the female nurse/doctor digging into the tile with her sraping fingernails.

Gah! I'm shivering right now to think of it.

Posted by: Big Dan at July 26, 2004 09:18 PM

I liked that part, but I agree it was a little nerve-wracking. I saw that and, yeah, it gave me a little shiver. It was genuinely creepy. Frankly, I was surprised to see it in the movie--I immediately thought of children in the audience, how creepy it must be for them--but I did enjoy it. Added a nice air of terror to the scene.

Posted by: Joel Caris at July 26, 2004 09:27 PM

You did notice Doctor (professor) Curt Conners, right? The future Lizard? I love the way they set him up as a sympathetic character one or maybe two movies in advance. That's one of the great things about Spiderman. He has some great "villains."

Also, notice that Joseph "Robbie" Robertson, editor of the Daily Bugle, got a lot of face time and already seems to suspect Spiderman's secret identity (he gave Peter one of those "I know who you are" looks when they were discussing pictures of Spiderman). If the movies follow the comics, Robbie may have more significant roles in future movies.

Posted by: Jheka at July 30, 2004 05:42 AM


Yep, I got both those. I was an avid reader of the comics as a teen.

Expect Conners to lose an arm before too long! I knew about JJJ's astronaut son, but I also seem to remember something about a relative of Robertson's, too. It was always an open secret in the comics that Robbie was looking out for Peter.

Posted by: Big Dan at July 30, 2004 07:35 AM


You missed it, then. Conners is missing an arm in the movie. In his first scene (in the beginning of the movie as Peter is running to his class) his right coat sleeve is empty and folded up at the elbow (cuff clipped to the shoulder). I think that you can also see that he is missing an arm in the classroom scene where Peter gets the right answer.

Posted by: Jheka at July 30, 2004 07:35 PM

Interesting. Maybe I was sitting too close to the screen. More likely I was just waiting for Kirsten to make another appearance. That's easily good for 25 points.

Blah blah blah fight scene blah blah blah Peter in anguish blah blah blah YAY! KIRSTEN DUNST!!

Posted by: Big Dan at July 31, 2004 09:47 AM

This happens a lot in superhero films: Spiderman rescues kids from a speeding truck or grandma from falling at speeds that would snap their tender necks.

One must suspend belief (slowly) in deceleration trauma.

Posted by: Cobb at August 2, 2004 10:48 AM

I think we have several options for Spidey 3 set up in this one. Kurt Conners is one, but another is the Man-Wolf, who had been known in another life as John Jameson, JJJ's astronaut boy. He was a frequent Spidey foe, and had a thing for MJ even in wolf form.

Then there is the return of Gobby, the idea that if Harry can find the stash, others can too, which gives us a HobGoblin, and then anyone who was near the water could be Crusher Creel (remember him)?

Posted by: Mr. E. at September 20, 2004 11:00 AM

I put Crusher Creel in the same category as the Rhino: please don't put either of them in the movies. Electro has promise and Kraven the Hunter could be a humdinger on the big screen.

Man-wolf is one of those villians that happen when you have to put out a comic every three months.

Thank you for keeping the world safe, my friend, but I need a bit more before you get a "huh."

Posted by: Big Dan at September 20, 2004 08:15 PM

I agree on the Rhino. Who wants a movie about a bad guy that head-butts his opponent into submission? I've got to disagree with you on the Absorbing Man, if only because he presents so many posibilities in the field of CGI. Electro was a guy with a suit. Kraven would be more interesting, in that Batman-ish sort of way, in as much as it is interesting to see guys with no serious super powers duke it out with guys that do.

What I want to know, though, is when is Jameson going to start funding Spider Slayer research. And can we see Michael Clarke Duncan reprise the Kingpin role in a future Spidey movie?

Posted by: Mr. E. at September 25, 2004 03:05 AM

Michael Clarke Duncan was a great casting choice in a fairly average "Daredevil" flick. I wouldn't mind seeing him as the big guy again in Spidey, but the danger is we'd have to drag Affleck back as DD one day, and the last thing I need with my Tobey and Kirsten is Ben.
BeniKirsen? Benbey?

Posted by: Big Dan at September 25, 2004 10:16 AM

Well, with Ben dating his former Daredevil co-star, it seems likely that the combined star power could generate enough gravity to pull a script down for Daredevil II, and they left enough bloody hints that no one actually died. The real problem is that Daredevil doesn't pull the kind of villan power that Spidey does.

This isn't about points. It's about not having had an adult conversation about comic book heroes in a loooooong time.

So, if you could choose, what comic-book adaptation would you most like to see, and what would you most like to aviod seeing?

Posted by: Mr. E. at September 29, 2004 11:25 AM

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