Why Spider-Man is Better Than Star Wars: Take it for What it is

Discussion in 'Attack of the Clones' started by ST-TPM-ASF-TNE, Jun 1, 2002.

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  1. ST-TPM-ASF-TNE Moderator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 27, 2001
    star 6
    From TFN:

    "Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones" is no "Jules and Jim," yet in an odd way Farber's description perfectly fits the new George Lucas blockbuster, especially when you compare it with its biggest summer rival, Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man." Lucas has said that digital production and new special-effects technology have freed his imagination to make the "Star Wars" movies he always wanted to make. Maybe so.
    But the result, in the series' two most recent pictures, "The Phantom Menace" and "Attack of the Clones," has been monumentally static. "Attack of the Clones" has the same costly special effects, kinetic action sequences and swooping, vertical-angled shots that "Spider-Man" does. But while "Spider-Man" is visually alluring, witty and exhilarating, "Attack of the Clones" is mostly just plain exhausting.

    What brings Spidey to life while "Clones" dozes? Maybe it's that while "Spider-Man's" look never loses touch with the movie's comic-book roots, "Attack of the Clones" goes for an overblown, operatic grandeur that reduces character and plot to an afterthought. Without condescending to its pulpy source material, "Spider-Man" elevates the action-adventure genre, while "Attack of the Clones" merely overwhelms it with big, portentous digital set pieces. "Clones" is a bore. "Spider-Man" keeps its feet on the ground, conceptually, and it soars.

    Like its youthful hero, Peter Parker (played with understated acuteness by Tobey Maguire), "Spider-Man's" design is deceptively simple. The movie's opening credits unspool over a montage of comic-book panels, invoking the eye-tickling graphic environment created by series co-creator Stan Lee (one of the movie's executive producers). But like the seemingly bland and innocuous Peter Parker, "Spider-Man" has a few surprises up its spandex sleeve.

    Director Raimi, who earned his spurs with the low-budget yet cunningly stylized "Evil Dead" series, and his production designer, Neil Spisak, have synthesized two very different design sensibilities here: a loud, humorous Pop art syntax, which animates "Spider-Man's" superhero antics; and an affectionate, sepia-toned vision of New York City, with all its gritty charms and architectural marvels viewed from our hero's unique high-flying perspective.

    Andy Warhol would have loved "Spider-Man's" combination of radiance and self-aware humor, which stops short of camp. Both Spidey and his adversary, the Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe), are as brightly attired as Brillo boxes. From the moment early in the film when Peter Parker is bitten by a genetically altered arachnid, "Spider-Man" crackles with brash visual wit, like a New York tabloid front page.

    In one dazzling sight gag, we see a high school corridor through Parker's DNA-altered vision: a paper airplane hanging in suspension, a buzzing fly slowed to a snail's pace, a bully's fist inching toward Parker's face. In another, the webs on Spider-Man's tunic morph into Manhattan's tangled street grid, filled with yellow cabs scampering like berserk insects. And in an image that neatly fuses comedy and pathos, Spider-Man receives a grateful kiss from his unsuspecting love interest, M.J., as he dangles upside-down in the rain.

    "Spider-Man" drops sly pop references to other movies, a postmodern practice that "Star Wars" helped invent. Peter Parker's bid to raise cash by going mano a mano with a goonish pro wrestler in a cage recalls a similar Mel Gibson showdown in "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome" (1985). And when the Green Goblin launches his lethal assault on Times Square, he blazes over the Manhattan skyline on a kind of jet-propelled surfboard, bringing to mind the Wicked Witch of the West skywriting "Surrender Dorothy" above Oz.

    From the L.A. Times




    I think this article is nothing but an excuse for the critics to overly praise something that is not Star Wars. Of course Spider-Man is better than Star Wars, why couldn't we see this before? [face_plain]


    Anyway, take this for what it is. I find it an interesting if not worthless read ;)
  2. Zanath Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 13, 2002
    star 1
    Is it just me, or are these things getting more and more aggrivating? I didn't really mind them at first, but it's getting harder to ignore them. If anything, this is just more proof the crtics have something against "Star Wars."
  3. wedge3210 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 1999
    star 5
    I just read it on tf.n. Having not seen Spiderman yet, I can just go from the tone of the piece, and all it's saying to me is "I can't stand Lucas anymore."
  4. Master_of_Darkness Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2002
    star 4
    The LA Times people are just punks. They think Spiderman is what's hip and cool, when Star Wars is just for geeks... well, screw them and their double choca peanut butter coffees!
  5. DarthPJ Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 23, 2001
    star 1
    For a viewer that has not seen ANY other Star Wars movie, you can almost bet they wouldn't catch a lot of the jokes obviously. Or, understand where the story is coming from, having not seen EpI (heck, mnay people I know who have seen EpI don't know what is really going on...) SpiderMan is a much more "stand-alone" movie, and is an intro into where SpiderMan came from and how he came about. I liked the first part of the movie more than the second, meaning that sequels will most likely be so-so instead of good like the original (going from past Hollywood attempts :))

    Anyway, her points are shared by many that I know, especially those not 'into' Star Wars at all [and those that consider them "geeky" or "male-oriented", which the reviewer obviously thought going in, whereas thinking SpiderMan was "cool"]
  6. HBMC_Kloon Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2002
    star 2
    I find it strange that people need to "prove" how Spidey is better than AOTC.

    I haven't seen Spidey, it comes out this Thursday here, and despite the fact that I have NO interest in it (just like I have no interest in Blade II), I don't need to "prove" to anyone why one is better than the other.

    Can't people enjoy BOTH? Why does it have to be one or the other?

    BYE
  7. dirkdiggler Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 27, 2002
    Spiderman is the flavor of the month. When it is all said and done will anyone truly remember the movie.
  8. Twink_Kee Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 2001
    star 5
    Get used to it.

    Last time it was TPM vs Matrix.

    This time its AOTC vs Spider Man.

    Who knows what it will be in 2005.

    But I do know this. Star Wars is still standing. And, truthfully, despite an upcoming sequel, the Matrix ain't. Not at least on the same level. By 2005, I don't think Spider-Man, sequels or no, will be standing on the same level either.

    It will be this way because people want to create a new pop hit. What they don't understand is that Star Wars exceeds "pop hit" and perpetuates a new myth.
  9. abmccray Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2002
    star 2
    Yeah, who needs a love story that makes logical sense or characters that the audience cares about! Theres lightsabers and special effects - look Yoda is jumping around like Sonic the Hedgehog of course Star Wars is better!!!!!!!!!! I mean, look at the pretty colors!
  10. ST-TPM-ASF-TNE Moderator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 27, 2001
    star 6
    In 2005 it will be Indiana Jones (vs) Star Wars. Trust me Twink_Kee ;)






    ST
  11. Durwood Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 5
    I've noticed that many critics don't write reviews for the latest films, they just write reviews against Star Wars. It does get a little annoying.
  12. Count_Cuckoo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 15, 2001
    star 4
    Spiderman, I thought was very dull until the Goblin comes in. I hope the Hulk is going to be better.
  13. abmccray Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2002
    star 2
    ((Last time it was TPM vs Matrix. ))

    Uh...didn't The Matrix 'win' that? The Matrix has a far better standing in the public's mind than TPM - that's why every HK movie/wire stunt/etc. is erringly compared to The Matrix by your average Joe. You never hear anyone comparing TPM to anything or mentioning it outside the tone of Star Wars (ie. when a new Star Wars is released)
  14. Twink_Kee Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 2001
    star 5
    Ha. Well for one thing, I don't think Lucas will open up his own movie against his own movie.

    For another, this Indiana Jones, a big mistake as it is with Grandpa Jones, wouldn't stand a chance. They should've let the series end at Last Crusade.

    "Uh...didn't The Matrix 'win' that? The Matrix has a far better standing in the public's mind than Star Wars - that's why every HK movie/wire stunt/etc. is erringly compared to The Matrix by your average Joe. You never hear anyone comparing TPM to anything or mentioning it outside the tone of Star Wars (ie. when a new Star Wars is released)"


    [face_laugh]

    The Matrix has a better standing in the public's mind? Don't think so. Nobody I know is looking forward to Matrix 2. And I'm not talking about a bunch of Star Wars friends. In fact, I only have a couple of friends who are true Star Wars fans. As far as TPM goes, there were more comparisons with it to other films (like FOTR, Harry Potter, AI) than there ever were Matrix. The only comparisons Matrix recieved were people lauding commonplace Matrix FX rip-offs, like "The One".
  15. Master_of_Darkness Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2002
    star 4
    And of course, it 2005, LA times and there army of evil choca coffee drinkers will bash EP3. You suck choca coffee drinkers and LA Times Demons!
  16. dirkdiggler Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 27, 2002
    Abmccray the local cynic.
  17. TwiLekJedi Pretty Ex-Mod

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2001
    star 10
    I read the full article and also got the impression that Mr.Whatshisname just wants to make SW bad. Before I started reading I remembered seeing the 50.000+ votes for "excellent" in TF.N's AotC Poll ;)

    Then, while reading it, I came to the conlusion that this dude has no idea what he's talking about

    His opinion became the most insignificant thing in the world for me, when I read that the Falcon jumped into ... cyberspace ...

    It is a sad fact, that people in public think they have to hate Star Wars

    AotC was excellent :)
  18. tkip Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 3
    I haven't read the article, and so, I really have no idea what they say about the 2 movies but I have seen both and my 2 cents worth?

    Yeah, Spiderman, hands down is the better movie. Just a more solid, entertaining 2 hours of fun with much better chemistry between the actors and characters.
  19. Darth_Ignant Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 24, 2001
    star 7
    Well yeah, the reviewer is right, Spiderman is an incredible piece of cinema, truly a landmark in the art form. Oh no wait, it just made alot of cash and has many critics jumping on the bandwagon [face_plain]
  20. Durwood Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 5
    Uh...didn't The Matrix 'win' that?

    The Matrix was a flash in the pan success. It doesn't have the staying power that Star Wars continues to enjoy.
  21. ewingsquadron Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2001
    star 5
    I hated Spider-Man. Worst movie ever! I almost walked out, but I guess I was having too much fun loudly making fun of it with my friends.
  22. dirkdiggler Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 27, 2002
    To compare special effects in these to films is like comparing apples to oranges. It amazes me that anyone looking to bash Star Wars will find anything to attack. The cheesy special effects in Spider Man is what ruined the movie for me. Yet the critic who wrote this article somehow finds it within himself to credit spidermans obvious fakeness.
  23. abmccray Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2002
    star 2
    ((The Matrix has a better standing in the public's mind? Don't think so. Nobody I know is looking forward to Matrix 2. And I'm not talking about a bunch of Star Wars friends. In fact, I only have a couple of friends who are true Star Wars fans. As far as TPM goes, there were more comparisons with it to other films (like FOTR) than there ever were Matrix. The only comparisons Matrix recieved were people lauding commonplace Matrix FX rip-offs, like "The One". ))

    Uh, you're friends are weird then. Or maybe young or old. I don't know very many 20-40 year olds that haven't solidifed The Matrix as a classic already (and compare any wire/leather/funky camera movie to it) - and the tons of comments on my series thinking that it was inspired by The Matrix (ugh, I hate that) solidify that. I thought The Matrix was "okay" personally, but most of the general public has elevated it high in cinema history.

    A flash in the pan? The Matrix has had a greater effect on pop culture than ANY movie in the past 5 years! TPM has had little to no effect at all.
  24. dirkdiggler Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 27, 2002
    ABMCCRAY, what impact on pop culture. Please elaborate.
  25. PLO--KOON Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 3, 2001
    star 4
    First of all where did they get that people were disipointed with AOTC 9 out of ten people I talked to where happy about it and thats more than I can say for spiderman.
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