Thursday, May 10, 2007

Spider-Man Jumps the Shark

I have now seen Spider-Man 3 and am here to report it is a big disappointment.

The villains--Sandman (Thomas Haden Church), Venom (Topher Grace), and Green Goblin II (James Franco)--are, frankly, boring. The much-ballyhooed-in-advance spectacular special effects scenes left me yawning. The usually adorable Tobey Maquire wasn't nearly so endearing as before (perhaps his prominent double chin got in the way), and the often-intriguing Kirsten Dunst was, alas, boring. The on-again/off-againness of their relationship was becoming tedious even before this outing; here it reaches whatever status. I cannot imagine there will be much repeat viewing of this unimaginative film by anyone over the age of twelve.

I so wanted to love this film, but it didn't meet me even half way. Give me long-term television narratives like Lost or Heroes, which offer us engaging, intricate 22+ episode (16+ hours of screen time) seasons each and every year for 1/10 of the cost of this one unimaginative and often tedious piece of storytelling.

I couldn't have been the only Heroes fan who was comparing Peter Petrelli's metamorphosis from hospice nurse into bad ass superhero (in "Five Years Gone") with Peter Parker's visit to the dark side under the influence of the symbiont black Spidey suit. How much more convincingly Milo Ventimiglia pulls it off on TV than does Tobey on the big screen! In a head-to-head battle between the two NY-based Peter P's, my money is on the Heroes hero. Though at a distinct CGI disadvantage, Petrelli would take the webslinger in red (or black). Narrative power trumps XF.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Lavery in Portuguese

To see an article by Joana Amaral Cardoso in Publica (Lisbon) on American television for which I was a major source, go here .

Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Madness of George

Bill Maher makes an excellent case for President Bush as insane (from the "New Rules" segment of HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher (go to 2:20 in to see this particular "New Rule").