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We saw Spidey tonight : some spoiler

July 23rd, 2004 · 2 Comments

Thanks again to Grandma, we made it to the movie theater on the last night of Spidey 2’s island run. I liked this second movie better than the first one although I am grateful we had rented the DVD recently. The characters wrestled and changed more, the heroes and villains grew deeper in dimensions, the internal struggles became more vibrant and bittersweet…the only thing that was better in the first movie was Kirsten Dunst’s hair, and I have to thank Jay for pointing this out in his pointer to Lance Arthur’s Hamster Man review

Darren Barrenfoot the other day discussed childhood terrors. For me it was Spiderman. In my room alone at night I somehow would see him coming out of the closet to get me. He was an evil Spiderman. A nearly invisible superhero clothed of darkness, only his outline and spider glowing. One of my parents would have to come to my room and calm me down. Children often suffer from irrational fears wrought of active imaginations, and I was no different.

What was different tonight was how we saw the film compared to the first one. The theater isn’t the same experience as DVD seen from Ted’s office sofa, where a superhero scales a building that is the size of Kirsten Dunst hair ornament on the big screen. Whenever we go to the cinema, especially since it happens occasionally, it takes a while for my eyes to adjust to the intense and vibrant colors, to the size of the images: it all seems oh-so-larger-than-life.

But I think it is more to this movie than the fact of where I sat to watch it. I liked the villain in this film. Like Peter Parker, I admired Octavius too, especially when he described how he and his wife fell in love. At college? Gee… Their romance and partnership seem almost enviable…enchanting….and then he becomes a victim/villain as scientists seem to do in these Spiderman movies.

Peter Parker changes. So does MJ. Besides watching her hairstyle morph (I think I only liked it in the last scene!), I watched what choices she made as a character. Without giving too much of the ending away, I’ll say that I am intrigued by what seems to be an attractive mix of both modern and traditional roles for women in the comic-book-based film.

The movie also encouraged me to think about anonymity. How does being unknown affect identity and actions? What happens when identity is discovered? And what about romantic relationships? Is it better or worse to love someone but to keep that passion hidden? Okay here’s more spoiler…there is elation and fun in the film, enough to make me want to swing like Spidey too, but I think in part it comes from the joy of requited love. Pining away with secret passion is exciting but it doesn’t have the thrill of declaring and exchanging love, the fulness of giving and receiving, of knowing and being known. It also made me think about on-line persona and Ben Hyde’s recent essay on anonymous reputation

Speaking of essays, on a link from Janelle’s sidebar the other day, I ended up at this essay Happily Ever After?

I think of my three young daughters and wonder how hard it’ll be to counter the messages in movies (and the rest of the culture) that instead of being entranced by the rebel and thrill-seeker, my daughters should look for men who are deeply honorable, respectful, caring and kind. In the movies, men come up with witty conversation and flirtatious quips. In real life, the most wonderful words my husband said to me recently were: “I’ll take the baby downstairs so you can sleep.” Wow, now that’s a great guy.

Even though I’ve been married to a wonderful man for 10 years, it’s hard to go to a romantic film and not be a bit wistful for the rush of young love—which is where most romantic films invest their time. Love starts off that way, but then mellows and ripens and deepens.

This movie has at least three romantic couples, all great. But in terms of the wit and flirt, I don’t think it errs heavily in that respect. Peter Parker can hardly get a word out of his mouth sometimes…And sure Ted and I have our days when his taking the baby is making one of the best moves he can make but I think that long-term marriages have their young gushy romance too. It doesn’t have to disappear with the diapers. It can stay and get revived a bit by fun films too…after all, there’s nothing like holding hands in a dark theater and being almost alone while watching the movies…it can mean more than it did when we were dating…

I’m glad we got to go to see Spider-Man 2. I liked the script and the camera captured some excellent scenes. My favorite one came near the end of the film. In the movie MJ may be posing for perfume ads but this one would certainly be a perfume ad all its own for Beautiful. And yes, I liked her hair in that scene…

I’ll be waiting for Spidey 3 and sending MJ some hair care products and styling suggestions in the mail sometime soon….

Tags: culture

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