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3.7 out of 5 stars
Spider-Man 3 (2-Disc Edition) [DVD] [2007]
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Peter Parker is very happy, he's in love with the sensual Mary Jane Watson, his studies are going great, and America loves his alter ego, Spider-Man. But his world is quickly turned upside down as he comes under attack from Sandman, Goblin Jr and an alien substance that transforms Peter into something far darker than his super hero better self.

There is a school of thought that says that sequels are always the tricky films for directors to take on, that may be so in most genres, but for comic book adaptations, all films are tricky. By the time of director Sam Raimi releasing Spider-Man 3, he had not only shown the world that he clearly loved the Spider-Man characters, he showed that he also knew how to better the franchise with the second instalment. So really, if we are all honest here, it was going to take a monumental effort to not just only better parts one and two, but to merely make a film to sit alongside those finely crafted pictures as well! That he managed neither is no great surprise when watching it now after the dust has settled a few years later. In his over eagerness to entertain us the fans, and with studio interference that Raimi to date refuses to over elaborate on (Venom-AKA Eddie Brock-it was-ahem-requested he find room for), Raimi lost sight of the less is more policy that made the first two Spidey movies great.

When I first came out of the cinema after my original viewing, my head was chocked full of villains, not only that, but also Peter's love life struggles, it is in short, way too much for one movie. I had enjoyed myself for sure, hell! Raimi knows how to give his fans a good time, but when you break it own there are so many missed opportunities it grates substantially on the discerning movie watching fan. Thomas Haden Church is a fine actor, but as Marko he has little to do, so come the excellent transformation into Sandman, Church is a forgotten prop. Then there is the almost unforgivable act of losing James Franco {Goblin Jr} in amongst the collage of goings on, his Harry Osborn has a neat complexity to him and more attention to detail with this character arc would have provided great rewards I'm sure. Kirsten Dunst returns as Mary Jane but appears to be regressing in acting ability, is she bored I wonder? Or is she just not that very good an actress? The less said about Topher Grace as Eddie Brock/Venom the better, tho in fairness Raimi never wanted the character in the film, so it's hardly surprising that the best thing about the character is the entertaining effects as Venom snarls and snaps. Bryce Dallas Howard is sparky as Gwen Stacy, and J.K. Simmons as usual owns every scene he is in.

Yet in spite of my grievances, after my HD revisit to the film I find myself warming to the Raimi franchise misfire. Clever themes such as power and its devilish off shoots are fleshed out, while the humour here is possibly the best of the three films thus far. The romantic angle between MJ and Peter is given serious thought and dare I say it, an adult make over. Whilst Tobey Maguire really has improved as an actor with each subsequent film, not withstanding an ill advised Saturday Night Fever sequence, Parker's venture to the dark side is excellently realised by Maguire. But ultimately it's with the action sequences that many younger viewers judge a Spider-Man film by, and part three is not found wanting, with a double team ultimate smack down raising the bar in gloriously over the top enjoyment. 7/10

At the time of writing the above Raimi had agreed to do Spider-Man 4, I feel sure that lessons would have been learned, as it is now, both Raimi and Maguire have left the franchise. The head honcho executives have other ideas for the next instalment.......
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Everything is lining up great for Peter he's finally got the love of his life, MJ to marry him.

But one night when a strange meteor crashes it clings on to Peter bonding him with an alien symbiotic suit.

Once the symbiotic is attached to him it changes his life.

Peter realises that he is doing everything wrong he decides only one way can make it right by getting rid of the alien symbiotic suit by ripping it off which eventually leads to the birth of Venom.

Peter now must faces all his darkest demons...

When I first saw this movie back in 2007, I thought it was really good, a tad too long, but good nevertheless.

Seven years later and several viewings later, I realise now that Raimi took way too much on with this, and should have concentrated on just the feud between him and Harry, bit throwing in his uncles killer, relationship problems, Gwen Stacey, and Venom, of course.

It becomes bloated very quickly, and is at least twenty minutes too long. The whole Parker turning into a goth/Simon Le Bon wannabe is pointless and not part of this film.

Church and Grace are good in this movie, but hey are sidelined, as is many characters in this film.

There are signs of brilliance though, the first meeting with Harry and Spiderman is awe-inspiring and one of the best set pieces of the series, and Franco really shines in this, totally watchable whenever he is on screen.

The same cannot be said for the main character. When you start to find Parker annoying, you know that the film is in trouble.

It's not a bad movie, just really overlong, bloated, and at times, quite depressing that it's gone downhill like this, so rapidly.

The big disappointment of summer 2007.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 9 January 2014
We all fell for Raimi's relaunch of the Spiderman franchise, loving the cleverness of the casting right down the line, and enjoying how well the films caught the right balance of action, comedy and old-school comic book earnestness. But third time around, bloat has set in. All the basic elements which made the first film brilliant and the second one a real pleasure are still in place, and at least to begin with, it looks like Number 3 is going to have a focus and purpose: can Spidey really remain unaffected by his growing celebrity? How long is it going to take him to notice that MJ is struggling with her own setbacks and disappointments? These potentially worthwhile ideas are undermined almost from the start: MJ's stage debut is hardly the travesty the plot then tells us it is, and Peter behaves like such a knucklehead around her that Raimi really risks losing our sympathy. As well as the clumsy handling of these key character developments, the film doesn't seem to know how much else to load around this core relationship dilemma. It comes up with a retrospective re-writing of past events to attempt to add poignancy (or something) to Spiderman's dealings with his chief antagonist the Sandman, and (as if the writers feared there was something lacking in villain number 1) throw in a secondary villain via Topher Grace's dodgy rival photographer but then barely develop his role. Other unnecessary features, like Bryce Dallas Howard's love rival, clutter up the plot and undermine the potentially powerful and complex idea of Peter's worst attributes being magnified by the weird alien sludge. It's still enjoyable to watch all the regular cast at work, and I did enjoy the black slime effects - Peter's attempts to free himself, literally, from his dark side succeed in combining both visual thrill and metaphorical depth - but the film's structure is meandering and undisciplined, and the character developments sometimes crude and uneven. Because of this tangle, the film feels too long and - the worst sin of all - some of the affection I'd developed for the characters from 1 and 2 had waned before I reached the end of this installment. To me, not a fitting end to what could and should have been a brilliant trilogy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
...and for the most part delivered. Being a huge Marvel fan, I queued on the opening day, with a horde of shouting kids, to see what promised to be one of the best films ever. And it almost was. Sure, I could gripe about the minor details that don't agree with the comics, but that's neither here nor there. The one thing that did disappoint me was the lack of screentime for Venom, who could and should have been amazing. But he was as scary as a bouquet of flowers. Having said that, I do like the way it's left open for a certain other symbiote to appear in the future... To finish, although it's not as good as the second installment, it's certainly worth a look.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 14 May 2014
This movie is not as bad as I remember it!

'Spider-Man 3' is the last film of the trilogy of movies starring Tobey Maguire and directed by Sam Raimi. After watching 'Spider-Man 2' in the cinemas in 2004, I couldn't wait to see the next instalment and the continuing story of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson.

'Spider-Man 3' is a 2-disc DVD. Disc 1 contains the movie and Disc 2 contains special features.

It was going to be three years to wait for 'Spider-Man 3' to come out in 2007. But I learned how to be patient and was hoping it would be worth the wait seeing this film in the cinema. This film delivers a final showdown and a sweeping finale to a trilogy of successful movies.

What I remember in 2007 is being really excited to see this new 'Spider-Man' film. I watched all the trailers and had high expectations I don't know who said it originally, but it's true you can have too much of a good thing. That was how I felt after watching 'Spider-Man 3'.

It's not a bad film really, but it wasn't what I wanted. I felt too much had gone into it and there were too many characters, making it unfulfilling. Also I felt the ending wasn't uplifting and reassuring as I hoped it would be, as I didn't know this would be the last film.

But after watching the film recently, I realised this film is about forgiveness and overcoming the dark aspects of one's personality in order to become a better person and show goodness to people is evident. I did enjoy `Spider-Man 3', but it's not the best of the trilogy.

There's a selection of new characters from the Spider-Man universe in this movie. There are not one, not two, but THREE villains!!! There's the Sandman; Harry Osborn the new Green Goblin/New Goblin and Venom. Gwen Stacey also appears in the movie.

Peter Parker has now managed to balance his double life as himself and Spider-Man. He's managed to balance his relationship with Mary Jane Watson. But things get in the way as Spidey is soon absorbed by alien goo that takes him over, making him the black Spider-Man.

Tobey Maguire gives a stunning performance as Peter Parker/Spider-Man. He's so believable and easy to relate to when he's Peter, who is on a journey to deal with his dark side. He becomes increasingly over-confident and vengeful when wearing the black costume.

Kirsten Dunst gives a lovely performance as Mary Jane Watson. I love those early love scenes between her and Peter. MJ's acting career gets into jeopardy as she gets a bad review on her performance in the Broadway musical and tension develops between her and Peter.

James Franco returns as Harry Osborn who becomes the New Goblin. Harry knows Peter is Spider-Man and is determined to exact his revenge on him believing he killed his father. Harry gets a bump on the head and soon loses his memory from amnesia.

Thomas Haden Church plays the Sandman aka Flint Marko. Marko is a small time crook who gets caught in an experiment involving sand and becomes the Sandman. It turns out that Marko was actually the real killer of Peter's uncle which I don't like in story terms.

Topher Grace plays Eddie Brock Jr. who becomes Venom. I really like Topher's interpretation of Eddie that's opposite to Peter. It's such a shame though that Venom never got to be in the story fully as he is only seen towards the end in the finale battle of the movie.

Bryce Dallas Howard plays Gwen Stacy. She's not Peter's girlfriend in this movie. She's actually Eddie Brock's (sort of) and is Peter's partner in their science class. She's sweet and loving, but she bring tension to Peter and MJ in a love triangle which I didn't like.

Rosemary Harris returns as Aunt May. She gets to hear Peter announce he wants to marry Mary Jane and she gives him some encouraging words of advice. She also is there for Peter who after his ordeal with the black costume and knows he's a good person.

James Cromwell appears as Captain George Stacey, Gwen's father,. I know James Cromwell for his appearances in 'Star Trek: First Contact'. He's captain of the New York police who's trying to catch Flint Marko escaped from prison and loves his daughter Gwen.

J.K. Simmons returns as J. Jonah Jameson and is terrific. I love every scene with Jameson. His scenes are the best and help to provide the comic relief of this movie. I love it when he gets buzzed all the time by his secretary Betty Brant to take his pills.

Director Sam Raimi does a splendid job directing 'Spider-Man 3'. He knows the characters inside out and due to his passion and knowledge 'Spider-Man'. He directs the movie with a fine balance of drama and action, despite the weak aspects of the story.

The set design and action sequences are truly spectacular. It was great to revisit the Daily Bugle for one last time as well as Peter's apartment when MJ and Aunt May visit him. Also we get to see Aunt May's new home and go back to Harry's big house.

The special effects are also spectacular. The CGI for the Sandman, Venom, the black goo attaching itself to Peter are pretty amazing and well done. Also the stunt work is fantastic and it makes you really exhilarated and you do feel you're travelling through the skyscrapers.

The thing about 'Spider-Man 3' that disappointed me was the ending. It was rather a sad ending and it didn't really do anything reassuring for the audience to ensure the Spider-Man series was going to continue. At least it ends with Peter and MJ dancing together.

Plans were made to do 'Spider-Man 4' and Tobey Maguire would have reprised his role as Peter Parker/Spider-Man with Kirsten Dunst and director Sam Raimi. Sadly due to script problems and disagreements in the studios, the film got cancelled which is a shame.

The DVD special features are as follows. On Disc 1, there's a commentary with director Sam Raimi; Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Thomas Haden Church, Topher Grace, and Bryce Dallas Howard. That's one big cast commentary for a 'Spider-Man' movie.

There's also a commentary on the production side. There's producers Laura Ziskin; Avi Arad and Grant Curtis; editor Bob Murawski and special effects supervisor Scott Stokdyk.

On Disc 2, there are two sections - a 'Special Features' section and `Features' section.

In 'Special Features' there are bloopers/outtakes; photo galleries and a music video of a song from the 'Music From And Inspired By Spider-Man 3' CD. There's also an 'Advertising Campaign' featuring trailers and TV spots from around the world on 'Spider-Man 3'.

In 'Featurettes', there are a series of 10 behind-the-scenes making of documentaries. These include interviews with cast and crew.

The titles for these featurettes are as follows: 'Grains of Sand - Building Sandman'; 'Re-Imagining the Goblin'; 'Covered in Black - Creating Venom'; 'Hanging On...Gwen Stacy and the Collapsing Floor'; 'Fighting, Flying & Driving - The Stunts'; 'Tangled Web: The Love Triangles of Spider-Man 3'; 'Wall Of Water'; 'On Location Cleveland - The Chase on Euclid Avenue'; 'On Location New York - From Rooftops to Backstreets'; 'The Science of Sound' and 'Inside The Editing Room'

'Spider-Man 3' isn't the greatest finale to a trilogy of movies featuring the web-slinger. But it's far from terrible. The first two 'Spider-Man' films were masterpieces. I suppose I wasn't willing to accept this was the last film of the Tobey Maguire series.

The story's structure is not great as there are too many characters to contend with. But this is a good 'Spider-Man' film and a fitting way to end this era of 'Spider-Man' that I love so much. I will always have happy memories of the original 'Spider-Man' trilogy.

I wish there is a 'Spider-Man 4'. But we can all imagine it in our hopes and dreams...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 25 June 2013
After seeing Spiderman 1 I promised myself that I will miss all the others. The only reason I watched Spiderman 3 was because I got it as a gift.

Overall the movie is fun for adults and I think that kids will love it.
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on 11 November 2012
With his accomplishments so far, especially with the triumph that was 2, Sam Raimi showed that he GOT Spiderman, he GOT Peter Parker and he GOT what was required for a superhero movie to work. It is odd therefore how things just don't work for this instalment. Others have referred to the fact that too much was going on and it is true, but it's more than that.
For one, Peter Parker is really not that likeable for a large part of this movie. Significantly, pretty much from the very beginning he is obnoxious and self absorbed (way before he comes into contact with the black costume), meaning we're not really that on-board to care enough about the trials he then goes through.
The effect of the alien costume on Peter is not well handled. It's rushed and does not really come off. It should have been more subtle and subversive and a battle not only between Peter and the addiction to the power the suit gave him but between Peter's wishes and the growing wishes of the alien. What comes off in the film a lot of the time is that it turns Peter into more of a Jerk, but with a shorter temper.
The sandman's presence too is misjudged. In some respects he's well realised (certainly as a special effect) but overall his impact/contribution is questionable. Apart one battle in the subway, he spends most of his time as a huge roaring monster and becomes an `it' rather than a character, making him less interesting. When he IS a character he's revealed from the very beginning to actually be a somewhat sympathetic remorseful guy, which makes his use as a `villain' all the more problematic. If his presence was going to work at all it would have been better if the reveal of his motivations and ultimately sympathetic character would have come towards the end, i.e. we learn at the same time as Peter does.
Venom had the potential to be a great antagonist, but it needed to be developed over time. He is not only a physical threat to Spiderman, but has the ability and inclination to play with/torture Peter Parker psychologically and as a result be quite scary in a way few others can. Shoe-horning him into the final act turns him into a chronically under-used add-on.
The bits that work? The things that are not `new' to this third instalment, namely the dynamics between Harry, MJ and Peter (when he's not being a jerk) and Aunt May acting as Peter's moral centre.
If it were me, I would have had Spiderman 3 as a movie where Peter encounters the alien and adopts it as his costume and we see the effects it has on him (and his world) over the course of the movie, while at the same time trying to deal with/contain the whole `Harry' problem and the rise of Eddy Brock. I would have had the end of 3 being the removal of the alien from Peter and it's seeming death, only to bond with Eddy Brock and become for Venom to become the protagonist in a 4th movie.
So there you have it. That's the `what' (IMHO of course). What I (or anyone) don't know is the `why'....
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on 2 December 2011
" ... it's the choices we make that make us who we are, and we can always choose to do the right thing ..."

Determinists and relativists will take issue with the above sentiment, voiced as the film draws to a close, but I have no quarrel with it. And we don't need philosophy degrees to see that free will also means freedom to choose the wrong thing - Spiderman 3 is busting at the seams with folks making, as much through moral confusion as love of evil, dismal choices. That's what gives Spiderman, his adversaries and all the rest of Stan Lee's creations for Marvel Comics a humanity you just don't get with Superman and his foes. Before convict on the lam Flint Marko fell into a particle accelerator, to emerge with awesome and vindictive force as The Sandman, his original misdeed was done to fund the op he'd hoped would cure a terminally ill daughter. And when that nice young Harry Osborn goes homicidal (aided by powers whose underlying science it would be irresponsible to reveal here) it's daddy's ghost that drives him to do vengeful duty as The New Goblin. Only Harry's Hamlet style procrastination, culminating in his making the right choice and to hell with duty, buys time for Spiderman to deliver a few home truths on pop's real nature. Even that nasty little squirt Eddie Brock, Peter Parker's photoshop cheating rival at The Daily Bugle, lets the appalling Venom into his heart only after a public humiliation which, though richly deserved, was at the hands of a Spiderman (or should that be Parker?) himself drunk on the power of Venom.

That's right, Spiderman/Parker makes bad choices too, and for the most timeworn of reasons. Pride, deadliest of sins and root cause of all the others, is what leads him astray. But leads whom astray - Spiderman, or Parker? Interesting question. As always with Stan Lee, the struggle between Right and Wrong is played out not just in America's streets and skies but in war zones of the mind. The antisocial acts of Sandman, New Goblin, Venom and even Spiderman (or should that too be Venom?) are preceded by smaller choices, dubious at best, on the parts of Marko, Osborn, Brock and Parker. One pivotal scene has Parker among street crowds glued to a Times Square screening of Spiderman's latest deeds. Parker's ears ring with the misdirected approbation of men oblivious to the greatness in their midst. Women gaze upwards in adoration. Kids flaunt spidey cute suits and, well, it all goes straight to the nerdy little head of a Peter Parker convinced that the superdude swinging across the Manhattan skyline is really him. But it isn't. Is it?

Deep stuff. But despite grossing more than any film in history on the weekend of public release, reviews of Spiderman 3 are mixed, and it's not hard to see why. More intricately plotted, more intellectually satisfying than either of its predecessors, these cerebral goodies come with a price tag. On the emotional front - which is where movies like this must ultimately deliver - there are noticeable dilutions. For one thing, since none of the bad guys can hold a candle to Spiderman 2's Doc Ock, their come-uppances and redemptions don't quite cut the mustard. They don't evoke the levels of vicarious triumph, and the more cleansing experiences of understanding and forgiveness, that we've paid for. (It's like the springs we get nowadays, five minutes after the onset of some puny apology for winter; pleasant enough, but to have your heart sent soaring by February snowdrop you need first to have had body and soul put through the wringer, month after frozen month.) For another, the choreographers and visual effects guys are definitely resting on their laurels. When the special music starts up and Spiderman comes swooping down 5th Avenue to face his tormentors, it still feels great, but it doesn't blow your mind the way it ought. I watched it with a ten year old boy and seven year old girl. He thought it "alright", she didn't like it. Too scary? No, too many boring bits. Me, I loved it. I just didn't love it a lot.
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There are certain films in a franchise that get stuck with the retrospective label "only for the most dedicated collector". They come across as the seemingly universally panned instalment of a series; the one everyone loves to hate; the proverbial weakest link. As years go on we discover that the creative team behind the project was put under pressure by their backers or studio, which helped to suck the soul out of a well-loved series. We know that Raimi was under pressure to include a character he didn't like, but does he really fall down with Spider-Man 3?

My answer is that he stumbles, but doesn't completely drop the proverbial ball. An obvious mistake is the inclusion of a character Raimi didn't like: Venom. Having said this, the black costume saga had huge potential to have been the slow burn build-up that could have replaced the Harry Osborne story arc that had been beautifully set up in the original Spider-Man. Osborne is actually the strongest part of the whole feature and it finishes very well without the distractions presented by the Sand-Man and Venom sub-plots. The Sand-Man character is apparently one of Raimi's favourite super-villains and his complex character is at least given more respect than say the recent GI Joe movie's Storm Shadow. However, tying his life with events in the first Spider-Man film just seems to be a clumsy step to unnecessarily tick the boxes of establishing the three films as a self-contained trilogy. This sense of completion is not what I feel anyone really wanted with Spider-Man 3, despite Raimi and lead actor Tobey Maguire's contracts expiring.

The resulting problems are that we have too many sub-plots and characters such as Venom and Gwen Stacey - Spider-Man's tragic first love in the comics - barely resembling their source material. This gives the impression of a rushed product desperately trying to hit as many key notes as possible.

Nevertheless, even with these flaws Raimi still pulls together an entertaining picture. The casting is as strong as ever, the effects continue to improve and the action sequences are ambitious. The cast from the previous two films plausibly play their roles with integrity and, as I said before, the Osborne story arc does finish well. Few fans of the franchise will be disappointed with the two disk set. The extras are reasonable with documentaries that do what they say on the tin.

All in all we have an above average sequel that frustrating shows signs of being something much better. Such is the curse of a third instalment it would seem!

Summary: Amazing potential missed, but it's not without its charm.

*This review was first published as "BlackSwan" on my Dooyoo and Ciao accounts*
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 17 April 2008
Well the film is average to poor with too many characters a bit of a boring story line.
I mainly just wanted to point out that I have had trouble with this dvd and the fact that it skips whole chapters.
I dont know if anyone else has had this trouble. Be cautious on buying this cheap dvd.
In terms of the film, loved one and two but this one just seems to erase the ending of the last one, was particularly disappointed with the fact that they didnt continue the green goblin story despite setting up the story line at the end of the last one
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