“ Genre: Action & Adventure / Theatrical Release: 2002 / Director: Sam Raimi / Actors: Tobey Maguire, Willem Dafoe, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco ... / DVD released 25 November, 2002 at Sony Pictures Home Entertainment / Features of the DVD: Anamorphic, Box set, PAL, Widescreen „
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Summary: "Spider-Man" is a 2002 superhero movie directed by Sam Raimi, and stars an elite cast who all play their parts fantasticly. The film is based on the Marvel Comics superhero of the same name, and pretty much every character who appears in the film, appeared in the comics at some time or another. The film is about a teenager who gets mysterious powers and uses them to become a superhero known as Spider-Man, but his powers are put to the test when a super villain, who calls himself "The Green Goblin" threatens the city. The film received critical acclaim from professional critics as the movie earned a 89% fresh rating on the movie review website; Rotten Tomatoes. Fans also loved the movie and it was a huge box office success earning more than $800 million at the global box office. In my personal opinion, I enjoyed the film and I thought it had many redeeming features, but was flawed. Throughout this review I will mention the cast and crew, talk about the story in length, give a complete review which is all my opinion, and a quick conclusion which sums up everything I've wrote here. Thanks for reading, and enjoy.
Cast and Crew: Director - Sam Raimi
Producers - Laura Ziskin, Ian Bryce and Avi Arad
Screenplay - David Koepp
Score - Danny Elfman (who also composed the iconic Simpsons theme)
Peter Parker/Spider-Man - Tobey Maguire
Mary Jane Watson - Kirsten Dunst
Norman Osborn/Green Goblin - Willem Dafae
Harry Osborn - James Franco
May Parker - Rosemary Harris
Ben Parker - Cliff Robertson
J. Jonah Jameson - J. K. Simmons
Story: Peter Parker is as geeky as they come, he wears big, thick glasses, he's a photographer, and he's very awkward around people. One day at a field trip, a radioactive spider bites Peter and gives him super powers, like that of a spider. Peter also loves his next door neighbour, Mary Jane Watson, but she never notices him as she hangs around with the "popular" crowd. So he attempts to impress her by having a car, but in order to get the money he must first enter a wrestling tournament and survive three minutes in the ring; in order to do this he uses his powers along with an alias, the Amazing Spider-Man. Soon after he discovers his uncle has been murdered and he vows to get the killer, and also stop any criminal, he does this with a combination of his new found powers and his other self, Spider-Man. It starts off easy, but when an evil maniac known as the Green Goblin comes to the city, it's up to Spidey to save not only his loves ones, but himself and the entire city as well.
Review: I saw this movie last night after not watching it for a few years, and while it is very dated and the effects look quite bad in some spots; it's still a highly enjoyable film that is constantly entertaining. I'll start with the good points, the acting is top notch, none of them are miscast and they all play their parts really well. The action is also great and some of the sequences are impressive to watch and extremely thrilling to see. Spider-Man's costume also looks good but I can't say the same for Green Goblin, who looks very silly and more like a robot than anything else. And overall it's very entertaining but I'll go on about the bad points now. Like I said the effects have dated quite a bit, and while that doesn't diminish my viewing of the movie, it is quite distracting in some parts. Also the origin story takes far too long to get going, I like an origin story as much as the next comic book fan but it doesn't need to take over an hour. Another point is the highly overused cliché that Mary Jane is just the typical damsel in distress, I won't spoil too much but she gets kidnapped by the main villain, she also does in Spider-Man 2... and also in Spider-Man 3; I mean play a new song Sam Raimi for peet's sake. But to sum up, a film not without it's flaws, but still good to watch.
Conclusion: The film was a massive box office success and was one of the highest grossing films of all time at the point of release, and both fans and critics strongly enjoyed the film. I really liked the movie at the end of the day and while it does have some bad points that are noticeable, it doesn't really affect the overall movie experience. It might not be everyone's cup of tea, because it is a little slow to start and not everyone likes the character of Spider-Man, but if you enjoy comics and/or superhero films, I'd certainly check this one out. So to sum up this entire review, a great film which is just let down by a few flaws.
Saim Raimi's original 2002 Spider-Man film is a relatively faithful comic to screen adaptation and gives us the slightly modified origin of Spider-Man before (ahem) spinning out to do its own thing. Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) is a geeky high school senior who is regarded to be something of a nerd and outsider by the other kids and lives in ordinary Forest Hills with his beloved Uncle Ben (Cliff Robertson) and Aunt May (Rosemary Harris). He's very shy and secretly loves his flame haired next door neighbour Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) - or "MJ" as everyone calls her. Mary Jane barely seems to notice that Peter exists but his humdrum ordinary life is about to change forever. While visiting a genetics lab at Columbia University, Peter is bitten by a genetically altered spider (not a radioactive one as in the comics) and soon realises that something strange has happened to him. He has super strength, amazing agility, perfect vision, the ability to crawl up walls, and can shoot webs like a spider from glands on his wrists. The proportionate abilities of an arachnid. Peter decides to use his amazing new powers to make money and enters a wrestling contest as a (of course remarkably agile) masked wrestler known as "The Human Spider". The announcer (Bruce Campbell cameo) decides this is a bit of a naff soubriquet and calls him "The Amazing Spider-Man" instead. Peter is furious afterwards when the promoter refuses to pay him the agreed prize money and so he allows a thief (that he could easily have stopped) to escape from the building as revenge. This is a fateful decision as the thief murders someone very close to Peter during his escape. Now, feeling terrible, guilt ridden and responsible for the tragedy, Peter decides he will only use his powers for good from now on.
He makes some money on the side though as a budding photographer, selling Spider-Man pictures to Daily Bugle newspaper editor J Jonah Jameson (JK Simmons) despite the fact that Jonah thinks Spider-Man is a pain. "Who is Spider-Man? He's a criminal that's who he is! A vigilante! A public menace! What's he doing on MY front page?" Meanwhile, Peter's best friend Harry Osborne (James Franco) has become close to his beloved Mary Jane while his father Norman Osborne (William Dafoe) is going to be even more of a nuisance to our hero. Norman owns the company Oscorp and is trying to supply super strength "performance enhancers" and high tech weapons to the military. When he tests one of the serums on himself the side effects are super strength and heightened aggression and escalating madness. He soon adopts a high-tech glider and has an armoured suit with a grotesque mask and is flying around scaring the living daylights out of people with a robotic cackle throwing pumpkin bombs. After creating havoc during his first public appearance, he becomes known as The Green Goblin. Can Peter stop the Goblin as Spider-Man, win the heart of MJ, and somehow make ends meet as Peter Parker?
Spider-Man was a very big deal in 2002 and a resounding success both with critics and audiences. The film is not perfect but gets more right than it does wrong and remains an entertaining and likeable ride with one or two quibbles. I like Tobey Maguire and think he was a decent choice as Parker/Spidey although his sleepy sad looking face and lackadaisical tones never truly captured the trademark humour of the comic incarnation for me. He does the shy sensitive thing well though and I think the first half of the film is definitely the strongest. You have his touching unrequited love for Mary Jane, veteran actor Cliff Robertson as Uncle Ben, and some amusing and effective scenes when Parker discovers his new Spider powers (an obvious metaphor for puberty) and explores them. Filling his bedroom with webs and jumping off rooftops. Some nice moments in school too where he catches May Jane when she slips in the canteen (he of course has Spider Sense and can anticipate danger) and makes a fool of bully Flash Thompson (Joe Manganiello). Parker has organic web shooters here - glands in his wrists rather than web shooters designed by Peter Parker himself. This is something that was retained from the James Cameron draft and a clever move I think. That's the one thing in the comic I always thought was ridiculous. Spider-Man being able to spin endless webs from a small amount of fluid he keeps in containers on his wrists. Sam Raimi thought this strained credibility and made a wise decision. Spider-Man is a sunlit hero and the makers of this film get that. It's big, bold, colourful and romantic. Our entry into the film is endearing and enjoyable because it focuses on the character of Peter Parker. It's prepared to develop slowly and doesn't feel the need to blast us with action from the start as so many mainstream blockbuster films do.
The second half of the film introduces the villain and inevitably piles on the action. It's fun but not so effective as the first half I think. Part of the reason is the copious use of CGI to depict Spider-Man swinging through New York and fighting the Goblin. Some of these sequences unavoidably look fake and cartoonish and the film loses a little bit of the charm that has been generated so far. There is of course though no other way you can make a Spider-Man film. You can't have a stuntman swinging through New York on a piece of wire. Spider-man is the most dexterous and agile of superheroes. He had to be CG in his most spectacular moments. While these action sequences are sometimes unconvincing in terms of realism, they are constructed with elan and energy and are fun if one can suspend disbelief and lose yourself in the spectacle. A special camera was suspended high above the streets of New York and then floated around to get a giddying point of view perspective of what Spider-Man sees as he swings around. The Spider-Man suit looks good too although the Green Goblin design leaves something to be desired. The Goblin is probably Spidey's second most famous foe in the comics and has a green cape and rubber Goblin mask that is very retro and Halloween. Here he is given a green armoured suit instead and looks like a cross between Iron Man and a Mighty Morphin Power Ranger. I don't think the Goblin works terribly well as the big villain in the film to be honest but William Dafoe lends another decent performance to the picture and the arc initiated with his son Harry is nicely done. We will see Harry is destined to follow in his father's footsteps despite being Peter's best friend. The final rubble strewn battle between Spider-Man and the Goblin is certainly well staged though and a bit more violent than one would expect from a film of this type.
The most inspired casting in the film is JK Simmons as a very funny fast talking incarnation of grumpy Daily Bugle editor J Jonah Jameson and Rosemary Harris always feels like a perfect Aunt May too. I'm not sure that Kirsten Dunst is the greatest actress in the world and I always picture Mary Jane as the Mary Jane from the comics I have - someone who is a bit feistier and much larger than life than as depicted here - but Dunst is likeable and works reasonably well with the leading man. I like the romantic elements for the most part but I did think the famous kiss in the rain lashed alley between MJ and an upside down Spider-Man was rather corny and a bit too much. James Franco is ok as Harry Obsorne although it's a role that any number of actors could probably have played. Franco is not Sir Ben Kingsley when it comes to thesping. Raimi's direction is solid and occasionally exciting (although how much credit he takes for the digital effects sequences I have no idea) but he does sometimes seem slightly reigned in by having to produce such family friendly fare. This is a film that wears its heart on its sleeve. It wants to be fun, family friendly, romantic, funny, bursting with colour, and big (even slightly campy), like a comic that has come to life, and by and large it succeeds. Danny Elfman's score is perfectly servicable too and works very well during some of the more human moments. In the pantheon of superhero films it falls some way short of the Nolan Batman films and the first two Superman pictures (especially the Donner cut) but it can hold its own fairly well against most of the rest. The CG is overbearing at times and dating fast but this is undoubtedly an enjoyable and likeable attempt to transplant Stan Lee's greatest creation onto the big screen with plenty of respect and affection for the source material.
You can buy a good two disc version of this at the time of writing for about six pounds with more extras than you'll probably ever get around to watching. Commentaries from Raimi, John Dykstra and the cast, marketing campaigns, music videos (which are terrible by the way), tv spots & trailers, HBO's making of featurette, an E! Entertainment special, profiles of Raimi and Danny Elfman, two documentaries about the character and his mythology, outtakes, web links, photo galleries, easter eggs, and much much more. Oh, and screen tests by Tobey Maguire and JK Simmons. I always find screen tests interesting and these are certainly fun after you've watched the film. Simmons in particular is great and you can see straight away that he is the perfect person to cast as Jonah Jameson.
Movie Length: 116 minutes
Category: action / science fiction
Director: Sam Raimi
Country: United States
Rating: All ages
Number of Discs: 2
Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker
Willem Dafoe as Norman Osborn
Kristen Dunst as Mary Jane Watson
James Franco as Harry Osborn
The story is about Peter Parker in New York who goes to High School. He is not exactly popular, and is often teased by his schoolmates. He is shy and not good with women, and also has been doing in love with his neighbor Mary Jane for years, but never dare to ask her and only his best friend Harry Osborn knows it. On one day the whole class is on an excursion to a laboratory where super pins are grown. Peter is a school photographer at and is all busy taking photos. However, what no one has seen, one of the spiders escaped and has Peter in sight. Peter stays behind to take pictures while the rest of the group goes through and is bitten by the spider in his hand. At first he feels nothing, but then he suddenly feels less and even falls down unconscious on the floor in his bedroom. He wakes the next morning and finds his body suddenly changed! He looks better and more muscular, but has also got faster reflexes. But crazier still, he can suddenly climb walls and shoot web from his wrists! Awesome new powers and he can stand up against that bully from school! But as his uncle always said with great power comes great responsibility and Peter find out in a hard way. From that moment he realizes that he can help people with his new powers, but it will not always be easy.
Tobey Maguire is starring in this film as spiderman, but was unknown to me for this film. He fits well in the role of dull boy, but after the bite of the spider can see a huge change, especially physically. For this he must have trained a lot. After the bite, he suddenly turns into a more confident guy and you see that change well. He is also good in the scenes where he is Spider Man, and especially the action scenes. Kristen Dunst plays Mary Jane, the girl that Peter is in love with. She plays a somewhat innocent, but not shy girl with her big dream is to become an actress. She's definitely on her radar of Peter, but Peter's best friend Harry is also in the picture. Harry Osborn, played by James Franco and is the best friend of Peter. He comes from a wealthy and influential family, but will be burdened by his father demands of him. The performances are good in this movie and are credible.
There are quite a few extras on this DVD including commentary from the director, two producers and Kirsten Dunst. They give great information on the process of filming and how it was going on. Nice commentary and certainly interesting. Plus, there's also comment of the people of the special effects about any effects used during the film. Nice extra for those who are interested in them. What they have done great on this DVD is that there are a number of documentaries on the DVD who are focusing on the history of Spider Man that better reflects who actually created Spider Man. Thus there is an extra that provides an overview of the comics of Spider Man. Further on there is making off of the movie and during this extra they go into how the film has been created with also interviews with the actors. The range of extras is great fun and well put together. They give the people who are interested a great glimpse into the world of Spider Man and how the film came about. Very nice job!
For me I was aware of the Spider Man series on television, but really not so much of the comic books. When this film first appeared, therefore, I was not very much excited. But I must say I find this a fun movie with good action scenes and good special effects. The story is well done and well constructed in the film. They take the time to introduce Spider Man, but the beginning is definitely not boring. This gave you an equal commitment to the character Peter Parker, so you feel with him. The entire film is well interspersed with more action scenes. The performances are good and make the film worth a lot more fun. A good acquisition for the DVD is the amount of extras that are included and very nice for those who are interested in learning more about Spider Man. Definitely recommend this movie and the almost 2 hours fly by!
Peter Parker an out-cast and geek at school, but a few of the school bully's will soon see the new side to him.
One day he gets bitten by a spider genetically designed, he transform into the spiderman when he dna is combined with the spider's.
He starts relising powers he never had and was going to use them to his advantage!
Tackling the enemies that get caught in his web, of which one of them is the green goblin, along with one of the class clowns, and tracking down the person responsible for his uncle's death,
Not only does this film provide entertainment, it has a heartfelt side.
I love anything that is to do which superhero's I have the boxset of all 3 films and they are a must, I have watched them over and over, and they never get boring.
I picked mine up for around £10 in asda for the WHOLE boxset, bargain aye !
Kids will love it, so will you !
Starring, Toby maguire,Kirsten Dunst,James Franco and William Dafoe
I am a diehard fan of the movie and have watched it over ten times. Tobey Mcguire was perfectly cast for the role and the movie stayed true to the comic book. The spidey costume looks amazing and the images of spiderman in motion swinging on his web through new york city is breathtaking. Willem dafoe as the Green goblin is excellent. The costume, sinister character, the green goblin in flight or fighting with spiderman. His love interest Mary jane played by kirsten Dunst creates the love triangle that is completed by best friend Harry Osborn. Jonah Jameson is the rude, obnoxious newspaper editor who doesn't make things any easier for spidey, painting him as a criminal and printing lies.
Peter parker is the nerdy teenager who gets bullied by the jocks in school. When bitten by the radioactive spider on a visit to a lab his DNA is transformed overnight and he is gifted with superhuman abilities. A family tragedy lead him to use his powers to help those in need. The Green Goblin brilliantly played by Willem Dafoe, the creation of an experiment, is the super villain in this story.
Spiderman is portrayed as a vulnerable character, one of us, a working class guy in high school which is part of his appeal. Tobey played this role beautifully. A great story with stunning visual effects and fight sequences make this one of the best superhero movies ever made.
Spiderman Spiderman does everything a Spider can. Well lets be honest, who hasn't seen this film. It came out back in 2002 and was a massive hit. It was nominated for two Oscars and won loads of other awards. It took millions at the box office and has since spawned two sequals that were as big if not bigger. This is simply one of the biggest action films of our time.
Spiderman stars Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst. Maguire plays the famour role of Peter Parker and Dunst plays Mary Jane. Of coures Spiderman is not a new creation, the film is based on the famous Marvel comics that have been around for many years. There was also a Spiderman cartoon that was very popular back in the eighties, so this is in no way a new concept, but this is the first time Spiderman has made it to the big screen.
The film tells the story of Peter Parker. A quiet young an who enjoys photography and journalism. He goes on a school field trip to a local museum. Whilst there he is bitten by a spider. But this of coures is no ordinary spider. A few days later Peter starts to notice changes in his body. He is suddenly very strong, and has the ability to do some very strange things. Soon his is climbing walls and shooting webs out of his fingertips. When Peter is in control of his new powers he gets him self a nifty costume and becomes Spiderman. Then he basically fights crime and saves the city from the evil that is threatening.
I must admit am not usually into the whole cheesy superhero films with big effects and what not. But I really enjoyed this film. It's just good old fashion fun. The story is not to complex, the characters are not to deep. It's just a simple good fun action film. The effects are excellent and its all very realistic. You actually feel like your there in the film taking part at some points. The characters are good and I was very impressed with Toby Maguire who before this had never really had any major roles.
The story moves at a really fast pace, there are some excellent action sequences and of course a classic bad guy. This film really does everything it promises to and thats just what we should be looking for when we sit down to watch it.
The film runs for 121 minutes which is just about right. There is plenty to keep you interested whilst at the same time it never feels rushed. So they got the length just about right.
The film is rated 12. There is some mild swearing, some violence etc... But nothing to serious that should offend anyone really.
The DVD itself is nothing to get excited about. It just has a few features that you would expect.
Overall this is a very good film. There is lots to enjoy and its easy to watch. If you are one of the people who have not seen this film, I think you should go and get yourself a copy!
note: also appears in part on Flixster and The Student Room
The original Spider-Man film is one of the very best comic book adaptations ever put to film, alongside X2, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. It's directed by Sam Raimi, the acclaimed director of the Evil Dead trilogy, and he's just the talent needed to bring one of the quintessential heroes to the screen.
The film opens as nerdy Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire), rich upstart Harry Osborn (James Franco), and beautiful popular girl Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) visit a University laboratory. Parker is bitten by a radioactive spider, and over the course of the next few days, begins to notice a number of changes. Firstly, he is no longer scrawny and has a developed muscle tone. Secondly, he no longer needs glasses, and thirdly, he's able to shoot webs out of his hands and also scale walls with ease. He has developed the attributes of a spider whilst still seeming normal from the outside.
Things are complicated when Norman Osborn (Willem Dafoe), Harry's father, begins experimenting and becomes the genetically enhanced Green Goblin. He's normally a nice enough guy, but his drive towards scientific advancement has changed him - he's now a vicious psychopath intent on causing chaos and mayhem. Thus, it's up to Parker to take him down, resulting in an epic showdown.
This is a great origin story in as much as it doesn't skimp on any detail - we see Parker choose his outfit, we see him training, and we see him trying to hide it all from his family. It's also got some wonderful areas of morality, particularly involving the murder of his Uncle Ben.
A fun (albeit cheesy) introduction to Spider-Man that hits all of the right buttons and sets a wonderful scene for the sequels.
Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) is the outcast at school; his scrawny physique, thick framed glasses and his aptitude for science has made him an easy target for bullies over the years yet Peter has never let that phase him. Since he was six, Peter have been in love with the girl next door, Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst), sadly Peter isn't even on her radar. On a school trip Peter is desperately trying to pluck up the courage to talk to Mary Jane however before he gets chance he's bitten by a very rare and dangerous spider. Peter soon starts experiencing changes to his body and becomes a lot more self confident; that's until tragedy strikes his family...
Peter starts to come to terms with his superhuman powers and even develops himself a costume in order to keep his identity a secret from the rest of the world. He knows that he was brought into this world to help other people but when a new enemy arises from the wings and threatens Peter's one true love Mary Jane, things start to get very personal...
I've never really been a fan of comic book adaptations, it may just be me being dense but I've always thought of them as being aimed primarily at 12 year old boys and as I'm not a 12 or a boy I tend to avoid them unless there's one that especially pricks my interest. Spiderman being one of those films, after hearing all the brilliant reviews I thought this is a film that I have to see merely so I could make my own judgement of it, so not expecting much from it I sat down to watch it and was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Ok so these days the Spiderman popularity has simmered down a little mainly thanks to a little unknown film called The Dark Knight, which as a matter of fact I loved however after now seeing all three of the Spiderman films I have to say that The Dark Knight is trailing embarrassingly behind in the entertainment value factor in comparison with Spiderman.
What strikes me about this film and all the Spiderman films for that matter is how universally appealing they are, as I previously mentioned about the appeal of comic book adaptations this film has really outdone itself and has managed to reach an extremely wide audience, even making it into the record books for the highest weekend takings in 2007. Spiderman has that intense vulnerability about him that makes him relatable to absolutely anyone. Characters like Batman and Wolverine are a little bit more 'special' in the fact that they're what men aspire to be like however Spiderman has a little bit of everybody embedded in him because at heart he's just a normal guy who happens to be thrown into abnormal situations. It gives normal guys the aspirations that they too can become the hero and get the girl!
I have to say that Spiderman is acted brilliantly, Tobey Maguire was cast perfectly in this film and he completely encapsulates the role of the loveable nerd, his character has a lot of depth and personality and he really brings you along with him during his fantastic journey from being tripped over on the bus to becoming a superhero and loved by the public. Kirsten Dunst is also perfectly suited to her role as the pretty girl next door, she doesn't really have to do much in the film apart from play the pretty damsel in distress on multiple occasions throughout the film. She does play it well though and even know at the start she plays one of the popular girls at school she never comes across as arrogant or stuck up which a lot of actresses could be seen as.
Willem Dafoe was excellent in this film and plays a fantastic villain for Spiderman to face, I think out of all three films he plays the best villain by far with his arrogant attitude to his increasingly unhinged persona. I did feel that actually character of the Green Goblin was a little laughable though and looked more like a child's toy than an actual movie villain. He came across as more funny than menacing in a lot of the scenes with the ridiculous stances he pulls. This takes away a little bit of his credibility to be a convincing villain but I feel the acting from Willem Dafoe definitely makes up for this.
Special effects have improved a lot over the last couple of years and this needs to be taken into account when commenting on them in a film made around 7 years ago. The special effects in the film could be better I think everyone would agree with that but they still give the movie a fantastic atmosphere and there's no significant part in the film where you think to yourself that the special effects really let the film down.
The film runs for approximately 121 minutes, on first thought I assumed this would make for a long and drawn out movie, maybe even alienating it's core audience (what 12 year old can sit still for two hours straight?) however within the first 10 minutes of the film beginning I knew I was going to enjoy it. It manages to infuse comedy, action and romance with ease. This is a real action packed movie, it runs along at a steady pace but not too frantically like some films tend to do. In between the action there's also the will they/ wont they relationship between Peter and Mary Jane which is great to watch because it's like watching a 14 year old trying to ask out his crush whilst he goes all shy and nervous, this again gives Peter Parker that mummy's boy factor and makes his character even more loveable.
Overall this is a film I'd highly recommend seeing if you haven't already, it's not just for young boys as it has aspects of the film which will appeal to a wide audience from romance to action with a little comedy thrown in for good measure. I felt that this film is far better than Spiderman 2 however it was superseded by the far superior Spiderman 3. Of course to enjoy Spiderman 2 and 3 you have to have seen the first film so this is a must for any action fan.
The DVD is currently available from play.com for £1.50.
The special features include:
1st Time Ever on DVD - Set top interactive comic book
Audio / Video Commentary: Cast & Director
Spider Sense "White Rabbit" feature
Exclusive 'Behind the Scenes' featurettes
Tobey Maguire Multiple Screen Tests
Storyboard Process Workshop (with artist)
Alternate Music Workshop for Opening Sequence
Activision promo/trailer - the making of the PS2 game: includes gamer hints
DVD ROM content - including Activision test level for PC - DVD exclusive!
Weblinks - Marvel.com and exclusive dot.comic
Spider Man 101 documentary - a comprehensive look at the history of Spider-Man
The Loves of Peter Parker Featurette
A Conversation with Stan Lee - "An Appreciation: What Spiderman Means to Me"
The Art of Spider Man - to include morphs of the Spiderman and the Green Goblin comic book characters through time
Comic to screen comparisons (with angles)
Contest of Champions - Spiderman Trivia Game
Animated character files: Rogue Gallery
Storyboard to film comparisons (with angles)
Written by Stan Lee, Steve Ditko and David Koepp, and directed by Sam Raimi Spiderman is an adaptation of the famous Marvel comic book hero that was released back in June 2002.
I do not bother with the additional extras found on most DVDs and prefer to watch the feature length only, therefore, this is a review of the film only with no comments on the additional and bonus features.
Peter Parker (Toby Maguire) is a teenage boy, soon to graduate from high school, who lives with his Aunt May (Rosemary Harris) and Uncle Ben (Cliff Robertson). Peter has a passion for photography and Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst), the girl that lives next door but doesn't even know that Peter exists.
A school excursion sees Peter bitten by a spider, which in turn changes his DNA profile. Peter develops spiders' powers (including a sixth sense, the ability to spin a web and the ability to climb up walls) but maintains his human form. With his new powers Peter decides to earn a bit of extra cash to give his aunt and uncle the lifestyle he feels they deserve. Peter's selfishness sees his uncle getting seriously hurt and after that fateful day Peter decides to use his powers to help the general public. Being a bit of an introvert Peter decides to do this under cover and uses an alter-ego in the form of Spiderman, for this purpose.
Nothing ever goes smoothly in comic book land and at the same time Norman Osborn (Willem Dafoe) is exposed to an unusual gas, which subsequently has a sever effect on him. Osborn develops a dual personality and becomes the Hob Goblin and Osborn and Parker's lives cross when the Hob Goblin sees Spiderman as a threat that must be eliminated.
Will Parker ever get his girl or will his friendship with Harry Osborn (James Franco) get in the way? Will Spiderman ever bring the criminal who hurt Uncle Ben to justice? Will the Hob Goblin mange to eliminate Spiderman?
As well as the main characters, as described in the plot, other characters in this movie include:
i) Jonah Jameson (J K Simmons)
ii) Maximilian Fargas (Gerry Becker)
iii) Flash Tompson (Joe Manganiello)
iv) Robbie (Bill Nunn)
v) Carjacker (Michael Papajohn)
Whilst the supporting cast do a good job there are outstanding or memorable performances to speak of, and the main cast clearly steal the limelight, which is to be expected.
Personally, I think Spiderman is the ultimate superhero and in my opinion this movie is the best adaptation of any comic book story to date, and I include more recent movies such as X-Men and the like.
The story line is a bit far fetched, but then this is a comic book adaptation after all, so to watch it thinking I was going to see some deep and meaningful story would have been naïve. This movie is pure fantasy, exactly as it should be and exactly how the producers intended it to be.
The acting is spot on and the main cast do a fantastic job. With so many large celebrities in the cast I would have expected there to be a bit of a 'cat fight' with them all trying to out do each other but I can see no evidence of this in this movie. The whole cast have pulled together to create a great movie overall. The supporting actors also do a great job although none of them give a memorable performance in my opinion.
When I think of Toby Maguire I can see him as the "geeky" and "nerdy" Peter Parker but could he really pull off the role of Spiderman? Well, the answer is definitely yes. He clearly had the assistance of a personal trainer and nutritionist in preparation for this movie, as well as putting in a lot of hard work and dedication, and the results are very noticeable as he does look very good in a tight lycra suit (even in the eyes of a "real alpha male". Lol.). Maguire not only looks the part, as both Parker and Spiderman, but he does a very good job at bringing both characters to life and making them believable. I'm thinking this is quite an easy feat as Spiderman, being a character concealed from head to toe, but quite a challenge in the role of Parker.
Kirsten Dunst is perfectly cast as Mary Jane and even though her acting skills aren't really tested in this movie she gives a good, solid and believable performance. Maybe it's because Mary Jane was a redhead in the cartoon that used to be on children's TV, but if asked to picture Mary Jane, Dunst would spring to mind and I can't think of any other actress that is more suited to the role.
Willem Dafoe has an evil and almost demonic look about him in 'normal' roles so, in my opinion, he makes a great baddie as the Hob Goblin. His mannerisms and facial gurning is very convincing and the discussions he has with his reflection are powerful and a superb piece of acting that really adds to the movie. My only criticism would be that the Hob Goblin's suit is unimaginative, boring and not scary, which is a shame but you can't really mark the movie down for this.
I have read some reviews that slated the special effects and computer generated images, most of these are by the 'professional movie critics', but I think they are well executed. There are movies with better special effects but the ones used in this movie are more than adequate and fit in very well with the overall theme.
The overall pace of this movie is fast enough to keep the audience interested but not so fast and frantic that you have to maintain concentration all the way through. It is a mixture of some great action scenes (such as Spiderman's first real encounter with the Hob Goblin) and many slower and more sedate scenes making it entertaining to watch. At no time did I get bored during this movie and start clock watching, which is a difficult feat given my short attention span.
The censors have awarded this movie a 12, which is a bit high in my opinion. Whilst there are some scenes of violence it is no more than you can expect to see on early evening terrestrial television. In fact I would say some programmes contain more violence. There are no overtly sexual scenes or foul language and I think the censors were a bit harsh in their rating and I think it is a great family film that children of a much younger age will enjoy, especially given most of the merchandise is aimed at younger children - how many 12 + year olds do you see with a Spiderman rucksack with a matching lunchbox and flask?
This movie is fantastic and is easily the best adaptation of Spiderman, if not any comic hero, to date and is a must see for all Spiderman fans. The actors are great, it is action packed and very entertaining to watch.
I think this adaptation is going to be a classic and being a movie that can be watched time and time again, it is a worthy addition to any DVD collection.
Certificate - 12
Run time - 121 minutes
11 awards and 40 other nominations
Nominated for 2 oscars, although no prizes
Growing up, spiderman was the one superhero that I really wanted to be; the abilty to swing between buildings is almost as liberating in a big city as the ability to fly, and the tie-in with the traditional girl next-door storyline was another big plus. The film itself proved to be one of the first blockbuster remakes of marvel and dc comics characters, which themselves would characterise the next few years of cinema, as well as providing the foundation for at least 2 sequels, with spiderman 4 recently confirmed for 2011 and 5 being speculated about.
Tobey Maguire - Peter Parker. Plays well with other characters, as well as being suitably boyish. Wears the suit well
Willem Dafoe - Norman Osborn/Green Goblin. Character suffers mental breaks (which are vividly portrayed) as well as parenting dilemmas
Kirsten Dunst - Mary Jane Watson. Delicious and iconic girl next-door, great chemistry with Maguire. Gentler disposition suits Maguire's Parker down to the ground, and couldn't conceivably work any better.
James Franco - Harry Osborne. Not the strongest cast member but grows on you as the film(s) progress(es).
Rosemary Harris - Aunt May. Doting, warm.
J.K. Simmons - J. Jonah Jameson. Fantastic; compassionate and ruthless - great scripting and v. enjoyable screenplay here.
Although the story of spiderman is obviously well-documented, it would be lax of me not to include a synopsis here;
The film begins with an introduction to an endearing but tragically ill-coordinated and nerdy Peter Parker, and without too much ado has him bitten by a genetically-engineered 'superspider' (a modernisation of the original 'radioactive' spider, but one that simply makes the film more current). The next few minutes are really enjoyable, as Maguire discovers his new abilities with a wonder that you can't help but smile at, offerring a feel-good moment almost from the off.
From this point, it isn't too long until Parker becomes Spiderman proper, and starts kicking ass and taking names, and at this point we are introduced to one of the icons of the franchise; J. Jonah Jameson (Simmons). In Jameson we find a character whose screenplay is brilliantly written, and Simmons delights. Through Jameson, Parker establishes his role as Spiderman's unofficial photographer, leaving only his love interest undiscussed.
Here, then, we discover a real diamond at the heart of the film, in the casting of Dunst as Mary Jane Watson. As well as being devastatingly beautiful, Dunst is meek, mild and integrated subtly into the storyline for the most part (with the exception of being taken hostage), yet she still manages to give the film a purpose and a progression that it might otherwise have been lacking. However, the character that she creates can only really be appreciated fully when considered alongside Maguire's Parker, and in their scenes together they really light up the screen. This chemistry was critically recognised and acclaimed, and has had a great deal to do with the longevity of the franchise in its current incarnation.
Without adversity, though, this film would not have made it as far as pre-production, and this adversity comes in the form of Willem Dafoe's Green Goblin/Norman Osborn - a character suffering from mental breaks and extreme schizophrenia as a result of testing a performance-enhancing drug on himself. Osborn's discussions with himself are well-directed and fluid, and Dafoe really gets into his megalomaniac alter-ego. Osborn is tied to Parker through his son Harry (Franco), who plays little more than a cameo in this instalment, and is pretty forgettable as a result.
Without giving too much away, (as the film is worth watching, if only for the Maguire-Dunst chemistry), the plot progresses logically, if a little slowly at first, and forms helps to form a solid first instalment in the recent trilogy.
Stunts and Special effects;
Obviously, a large part of this film was always going to be stuntwork and special effects, but the two are integrated very nicely and the end result always looks great; Spiderman moves with great fluidity, and the fight scenes always feel well-connected. Importantly, while any viewer will understand that a lot of what they are watching is special effects, there are few points at which the effects themselves dominate the experience. A large part of this is also due to the extensive stunt work carried out for the film, lending some meat to the otherwise only CG Spiderman.
Furthermore, the cityscapes are beautifully shot, and a large variety of backgrounds help to capture the scale of the city. This also quite nicely limits the scope of the film; if all the audience ever sees is New York, they fail to think about any impact outside of New York, which is totally undiscussed.
Also posted on ciao.co.uk under the same name.
The life of Peter Parker is somewhat ordinary. He's a typical high school geek with a shy and nerdy personality. No matter how hard his life at school may be however, whether its bullying or taunting, he has yet to confess of his love for the one girl he can't take his eyes off; Mary Jane. Surely things will start to look up though?
After a freak accident on a school trip, Peter is hit with a vicious bite from a radioactive spider. At first it may seem like nothing, but this unleashes the new Peter Parker. The powers he unravels are unique to man, being superhuman in strength and with capabilities of scaling ceilings, walls and anything he can grab onto. With his new power he becomes the unknown Spiderman.
Meanwhile back in the City, scientist Norman Osborn, Peters childhood friends dad, is developing a performance enhancement drug. This doesn't go to plan either ironically and turns Norman to the dreaded and evil Green Goblin.
Now with two super beings on the loose, one being evil, it's surely up to Peter AKA Spiderman to be the one true hero and save the day. He's got the physique, he's got the strength and he's got the ambition. Can good beat evil in this long crying battle over the City? We can only hope.
Spiderman, based on Marvel Comics, is a very enjoyable film. While not being exactly realistic, the boy meets girl, good meets evil factors show strong relationships throughout. While a guy may take his own life for a girl he loves, would a super hero with the world relying on him do the same? The life of Spiderman is undercover, mysterious and life saving, whereas the life of Peter Parker is completely contrasting. The story of Peter himself shows the reality of growing up as a shy guy in school. It shows the realism of taunting, bullying and even not being able to get that girl you've always liked. The story of Mary Jane also shows the life some youngsters go through, with a disturbing and unwanted home life making people just a little more depressed.
When I first heard Tobey Maguire to be the leading role I was surprised. I didn't think this would be the strongest performance, but I must admit I was proven wrong. He plays the character of Peter Parker perfectly, while showing the ambition in his life playing the part of Spiderman.
The special effects in the film are fantastic. While unrealistic, many of completely believable and even make you wonder what if this situation occurred in real life. Not a penny has been spared for the production of this film.
It's definitely a film to watch. Maybe not so one to watch time and time again, but on the odd occasion, a very enjoyable and heartwarming couple of hours.
Spiderman really is a brillaint Action and Adventure and I really did enjoy watching it. It is full of entertainment and special effects throughout that will keep you on the edge of you seat! It was originally released in 2002 and it had been nominated for 2 Oscars which speaks for itself really. The film stars Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst who are just exceptional in this movie amongst many other very good performances. I really did think that the cinematic experiences is one of the best I have had in that the picture and graphics are exceptional. It is well worth watching, especially if you are keen on other Action and Adventure films such as Batman and Superman!
The movie is about Peter Parker relises that from a school trip that he was on, has accidently been modified into a spider. After the trip he notices that he now has incredible special powers rather like a superhero and now a great deal of responsibility will fall on his shoulders. It is up to Spiderman to help protect the citizens of the city and get rid of the evil alltogether. The Green Goblin wants him to be killed and so the adventure continues. There is also a romance in the film between Peter Parker and girlfriend Jane Watson. It really is a wonderful story line and I thought it was really well produced and so would really recommend it.
I really felt that this was a fantastic film for any spiderman fan and not to mention the music which was very good also. You can now attain this DVD for slightly less than £4 from Amazon which really is very good value for money and I would really recommend it for its first class home entertainment value. I hope this was useful and thank you very much for reading.
In the summer of 2001, while waiting for the main feature to start in a dingy cinema somewhere, I was treated to perhaps the most electrifying movie trailer that I have ever seen. It started off with a heist, with the crooks escaping by helicopter from the roof of a high-rise building. The camera follows their daring flight through the manmade canyons of Manhattan until they end up snared in a massive web strung between the twin towers of the World Trade Centre. That one trailer sparked my imagination to such a degree that I cannot even recall the name of the film I saw that day. Subsequent events rendered that trailer in bad taste, and I doubt the trailer even exists today. It's certainly not on the Spider-Man DVD, though it may be the only thing that isn't.
Peter Parker is your average introverted orphan kid with a crush on the girl next door. Unfortunately Mary Jane Watson is the girlfriend of the typical school jock, while Peter is the nerdish school paper photographer that everyone picks on. Fortunately he has some positives in his life, he lives with his Uncle Ben and Aunt May who dote on him, his friend Harry's father, industrialist Norman Osborn also keeps a keen interest in how young Peter is doing.
Oscorp is poised to complete a deal with the military to provide performance enhancing drugs, but a disinterested General is poised to let the deal fall through if the drug isn't proved successful. On the same fateful day that Peter Parker is bitten by a genetically modified spider, Norman Osborn decides to test the serum on himself with catastrophic results. That very night, both Spider-Man and the Green Goblin enter the world.
Peter initially uses his powers for personal gain, but tragedy makes him realise the responsibility of his powers. After graduating from school he heads for the Big Apple to pursue his future, unaware that an explosive confrontation with the Green Goblin awaits that will define his character.
Spider-Man comes with a 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer, which is acceptable. The picture is a tad grainy, a little soft and the contrast seems lacking. There were even one or two blips of print damage, which was surprising for such a recent film. But by and large, Spider-Man is a colourful and vibrant film and that does come through strongly on the disc.
The effects are also very well accomplished and Spider-Man is brought to life with verve and panache. The CGI is impressive throughout and the movie comes together as a seamless whole. That said there were one or two moments where CG Spidey seemed a little 'light' and insubstantial, but this still proves a wonderful demonstration of what technology is capable of.
A DD 5.1 English track is provided on this disc and it is a well-accomplished and impressive mix that immerses you in the film. The surrounds are put to notable use in the action sequences and suit this film well. The score is a Danny Elfman one and he provides an individual and inspiring theme for Spider-Man
The 2-disc set is a boon for movie fans and comic book fans alike and is almost overflowing with extras and goodies. The booklet, as well as containing much advertising has a couple of pages of production notes, and the discs have some brilliantly designed menus.
On Disc 1, as well as the film, it contains two commentaries, both in DD 2.0 Surround. The Filmmakers and Cast commentary is provided by Sam Raimi, Grant Curtis, Laura Ziskin and Kirsten Dunst, while the Visual Effects Designer and Crew commentary is provided by John Dykstra. I personally found the effects commentary the more interesting one, as with a film such as Spider-Man the effects crew actually have more of interest to talk about.
If you enable the SpiderSense webisodes from the main menu, A little Spidey head will pop up from time to time in the film and allow you to access little featurettes pertinent to that particular scene. There are interviews with the Spider Wrangler, the wrestler Randy Savage aka BoneSaw, the model maker and more. I would have preferred to be able to watch the featurettes separately though.
Weaving the Web is a trivia subtitle track that pops up comic book style captions through the movie with little titbits of info, although a couple flash by too quickly to read.
The Character Files gives a filmography for the main actors in the movie.
With disc 2, this disc is divided into 2 sections focussing on the movie or the comic.
Web of Spider-Man: The Comic contains three subsections. The Activision Game: Hints and Tips provides some game footage with a voiceover. The DVD ROM link leads to an explanation of what you will find if you have a PC. But the meat of the goodies is in The Evolution Of Spider-Man.
Spider-Man: The Mythology of the 21st Century is a 26-minute documentary with interviews with Stan Lee and various artists who discuss the birth and the development of the Spider-Man comic.
The Spider-Man Archives looks at some classic covers and stories through the years in the form of a gallery.
The Artists Gallery is a look at some great artwork and sketches from the film.
The Loves of Peter Parker gives biographies of all the women in Spider-Man's life.
The Rogues Gallery is a look at the villains that have plagued Spider-Man and are presented in the form of a 3D representation of the character with selectable biographies and statistics.
Goblin's Lair contains the promotional material associated with the film. This kicks of with HBO: The Making Of Spider-Man, A 25-minute look at just that with interviews with the cast and crew and some behind the scenes footage.
"Spider-Mania" An E! Entertainment Special is a 40 minute look at the whole Spider-Man phenomenon associated with the film and again contains interviews with the cast and crew but is plagued with an annoying voiceover and a tendency to frivolity.
There is a Director Profile, 7 minutes, which looks at Sam Raimi but comes across as little more than an appreciation society.
More interesting is the Composer Profile lasting a similar length of time that looks at Danny Elfman. He gives an insight into how he works which makes this a better piece.
Finally there are some screen tests and some gag reel footage that lasts about 10 minutes in total.
Nowadays when it comes to comic book conversions, films like the X-Men and the Matrix have raised the bar considerably. Stylistically and in terms of narrative, films have to go the extra mile to impress, and Spider-Man doesn't quite make it. It is perfect summer movie material, giving great visuals for you to chew your popcorn by, but there is a little something lacking that stops it being great movie and settles for being a good one instead.
However Spider-Man is notable for reversing one particular trend, that of comic book movies having to be dark and moody to be interesting. Spider-Man manages to be light, bright and engaging, yet remains true to the characters and story without lapsing into shadowy brooding stereotypes.
Tobey Maguire is perfectly cast as Peter Parker and makes the role his own. He nails the introverted teenager perfectly and gives him a sensitivity and humanity that really gives the audience something to relate to. Willem Dafoe as Norman Osborn/Green Goblin is excellent, and he takes what could easily have been a laughable role and makes it sinister and disturbing.
But for me the star of the movie has to be J K Simmons whose character of J Jonah Jameson, the editor in chief of the Daily Bugle is inspired. The hard-bitten newsman is a joy to watch and is utterly entertaining. Unfortunately that is where the notable performances end.
While Kirsten Dunst is gorgeous in every way and does her best with the character of Mary Jane Watson, I found that Mary Jane was quite underwritten and gave little opportunity to shine, ending up little more than a damsel in distress. Similarly, James Franco is hardly noticeable as Harry Osborn.
The film remains balanced on a precipice for much of the 2 hours, poised between laughably camp and seriousness, but while there are laughs and thrills, it never strays from that fine line and Sam Raimi carries it all off with aplomb.
Spider-Man isn't a great film, but it is a good one, and will be at home in any film collection. The picture quality isn't the best in the world, but the discs are overflowing with extras to sate the appetite of any comic fan. One or two minor niggles with the discs aside; you still get hours of goodness from this package. Thoroughly recommended
Spider Man is the first of the three movies so far made to star Tobey Maguire in the dual role of the super hero and Peter Parker his normal persona and it is also the best of the three by far.
I was surprised when it was announced that Maguire was to play the roles he does not look that big on screen however in fact he is perfect for the role as he is able to vsually represent the role of Parker who is often the victim of bullying and is a bit of a nerd who has a crush on his next door neighbour AJ who is played by Kirsten Dunst.
For me the real star of this film though is William Defoe, a successful business man and scientist and faced with financial ruin he carries out a high risk experiemnt on himsef that turns him in to an evil super villain called the Green Goblin a persona he switches back and forth from and after Parker suffers his own accident that gives him super powers of a spidey style the two are drawn togther also linked by the fact that Defoe son is best friends with Peter and dating AJ.
The action scenes in this film are excellent and I love the special effects using the New York skyline as a back drop. When you think about it then it is just as well Spiderman lived in New York as he would be stuffed if he lived in an English town as he would get splatted trying to swing from our low buildings.
The plot is fairly predictable but it works well in the overall structure of the film which is set at the right ace with some lighter moments mixed in with the actions scenes.
This is the first of the Spiderman films and still the best in my opinion, it stars Tobey Maguire as the webbed crusader who finds he has special powers after being bitten by a spider.
The first half of the film is all about how he discovers and comes to terms with these powers and the tragic event that moulds him into becomming a vigilante. The early part of the film also has a bit of humour in it especially when he makes his first spider outfit to enter a winner takes all wrestling event. Kirsten Dunst provides the love interest while William Defoe is superb as th deranged Goblin after an experiment on himself goes horribly wrong and he develops a split personality.
Tobey Maguire is excellent as Spiderman, he is totally convincing as the weedy down trodden upon Peter Parker who struggles against adversty and his transformation into Spiderman is rather amusing.
The special effects in this film are not bad, some of the time you can spot the CGI a bit too easily, mainly in the flying scenes between Spiderman and the Goblin and in this area the second film is much better but then you would expect it to be given the rate on improvements in technology.
The film ha a good pace to it and it does not feel like you are watching something for the best part of two hours as it flies along, or should I say swings along, lol, anyway for fans of the webbed crusader this is an excellent film and well worth seeing.
Marvel Comics fans have been waiting for this big-screen Spider-Man since the character made his print debut in 1962, which attaches impossible expectations to a film that rates as a solid success without breaking out of the spandex ghetto in the way that Batman Returns or X-Men did. Tobey Maguire is ideally cast as speccy Peter Parker, a high school swot with personal problems. The suit and effects take over when he gets bitten by a genetically engineered (i.e., no longer radioactive) spider and transforms into a web-swinging superhero who finds that these super-powers don't really help him get close to the girl next door (Kirsten Dunst) or protect his elderly guardian (Cliff Robertson) from random violence. The villain of the peace is Peter's best friend's industrialist father (Willem Dafoe) who has dosed himself on an experimental serum which makes him go all Jekyll-and-Hyde and emerge as the cackling Green Goblin, who soon gets a grudge against Spider-Man. Sam Raimi gives it all a bright, airy, kinetic feel, with wonderful aerial stuff as Spider-Man escapes from his troubles by swinging between skyscrapers, and the rethink of Stan Lee and Steve Ditko's origin story is managed with a canny mix of faithfulness (JK Simmons' as the crass editor JJ Jameson is the image of the comic character) and send-up (after a big introduction, Spider-Man finally appears in a really rubbish first attempt at a spider costume). Maguire and the impossibly sweet Dunst make it work as a hesitant teen romance, but somehow the second half, which brings on the villain to give the hero someone to fight, is only exciting when it wants to be affecting too. --Kim Newman On the DVD: Spider-Man's two-disc offering is nothing out of the ordinary, but fans will find some gems here including Stan Lee's thoughts, a gallery of comic cover art and profiles on the baddies. The two commentaries (cast and crew, and Special Effects) both have long periods with pauses, but the special effects guys are full of insight. The DVD-ROM section offers some of the more exciting features, including three comics transferred onto your computer, page by page, although be aware that the "Film to Comic" comparison is not for the original but for the new comic of the film. As you would expect from a blockbuster superhero film, the sound and vision are immaculate. --Nikki Disney