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Friday, May 04, 2007

GREENLIGHT #135: Spider-Man 3 (with "Seabiscuit" and "Pleasantville")

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Ann and Les are not caught up in the web of Spider-Man 3 (2007.) This third and horrendously expensive installment of this comic book story seems convoluted, loud, and action-packed just because it can. A big problem they have with the film is with the returning lead Tobey Maguire. He has to show us that Spider-Man has a darker side. but Maguire is just not talented enough to play cute and nerdy one minute and cool and calculating the next. To a lesser extent, they have the same problem with Kirsten Dunst. James Franco, on the other hand, manages to play a villain with enough pizazz to keep the film from a complete collapse. They hope director Sam Raimi finds another story to work on for awhile. For their GREENLIGHT Rentals, Les recommends a film in which he did enjoy the talents of Mr. Maguire called Seabiscuit (2003.) It's a truly moving story about a horse that lifted the spirits of America in the 1930s. Jeff Bridges gives an amazing performance in which he makes the rich cocky guy seem endearing. Chris Cooper really makes you believe his character, the trainer, has lived his life to take care of this horse. The film's added punch comes from the neat trick of using the best-selling historical author David McCullough as its narrator. Ann also recommends a film featuring Mr. Maguire as he played the brother of Reese Witherspoon while they both get launched from their life in the 1990s back into the black-and-white world of a 1950s sitcom by their friendly television repair man played by Don Knotts. Director Gary Ross makes some beautiful pictures as he allows the kids to bring real color to their new world- here and there - in his charming film Pleasantville (1998.)

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