I am one of President George W. Bush's gardeners. Mr. George likes to talk to me.

Monday, July 26, 2004

Spider-Man 2

While I was riding in the Tour de France, I had no time to see movies. A typical day consisted of cooking oatmeal and pasta for breakfast, riding the day's stage, which sometimes took more than six hours, and then giving U.S. Postal riders a neck massage (after I was traded to Team Rabobank, I was no longer required to give massages — they had their own masseusse). By the time I had finished with interviews and laundry and syringe disposal, it was time to go to bed. So you can imagine my delight when I discovered that the plane ride from Paris to Washington D.C. included the movie Spider-Man 2.

Here's what I liked about the movie:

* The acting. Tobey Maguire did an excellent job as a reluctant superhero. He was torn by the fact that his demanding job as superhero left him little time for his personal life. He was able to show this reluctance using facial gestures. The woman who played his aunt also did a good job in conveying emotion through the medium of acting.

* The subtle Christian imagery.  To stop a runaway train, Spiderman shot spidey webs toward buildings and held onto the cords with his arms spread wide.  After sacrificing himself for the commuters, Spiderman was so exhausted that his limp and broken body had to be passed backwards over the heads of the passengers, each person being careful not to touch the gaping wound on Spiderman's side.  A clumsy director would have placed a crown of thorns on Spiderman's head, but Sam Raimi chose the more subtle route, unlike the director of The Passion of the Christ, who used heavy-handed Christian imagery.

Here's what I disliked about the movie:

* Kirsten Dunst. She is too skinny. She should fatten up and wear makeup that makes her looks like she's not strung out on crystal meth, or whatever kids are self-medicating themselves with these days.

* Doc Ock's superpowers defied belief. If I'm not mistaken, Doc Ock's superpowers consist only of having six extra arms attached to him, but these powers do not extend to his head. When Spiderman, who is strong enough to hold up heavy steal girders, punches Doc Ock in the face, why doesn't Doc Ock's face cave in? It should. It's one thing to willingly suspend disbelief, but it's a whole other thing to willingly suspend common sense.

Still, I give it four stars on a scale from 1 to 6.



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