Sandman, Thomas Haden Church, Spider-Man 3

My Favorite Scene: Spider-Man 3 – “The Birth of Sandman”

Spider-Man 3 is not as bad as you remember it.  Somehow, in the seven years since its release, Spidey 3 has become the Batman & Robin of modern comic movies.  I saw Batman & Robin in the theatre.  I left in a homicidal rage.  I also saw Spider-Man 3 in the theatre and it’s not responsible for any cold cases.

Spidey 3 made the classic blunder and violated the first rule of super hero movies: do not go nuts with the villains!  Sometimes this can just be having more than one, but when you have FOUR principal villains, plus a hero struggling to not become number five, you have a mess.

The sad thing is: they had one of the villains down cold with an Oscar-nominated actor.  Thomas Haden Church brought a depth and a pathos to Sandman that I’d never seen in that character before in any incarnation – ever.  I think he easily could have carried the film.  The scene where he’s born, when he pulls himself together grain-by-grain, is one of the more impressive F/X shots of the decade and my favorite scene of the film.

Spidey 3 is the least of the Raimi trilogy, but it’s not a horrible movie.  We’re getting spoiled when we call a film like this “horrible”.  Remember where we were just 15 years ago?  Spidey 3 is not by any means an upper echelon film, but people need to lay-off just a little bit.

Sandman, Spider-Man, Spider-Man 3, Tobey Maguire, Peter Parker, Thomas Haden Church

8 thoughts on “My Favorite Scene: Spider-Man 3 – “The Birth of Sandman””

  1. Your glass is half full today. Good for you.
    Church should have been the sole villain. His performance, as well as the effects that brought his character to life, were every bit as good as Dock Ock in the previous film. Then you introduce the black suit, and have Peter dealing with that as he battles Sandman. And you have Peter REALLY start to become evil. No cop out. And you have a movie.
    This film could have been a lot better, and that is frustrating. The studio made certain demands on Raimi the Great and Powerful, and if he had jumped ship and someone else had helmed the movie it might have been a debacle, which I think we both agree it was not.

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  2. There are two saving graces to Batman and Robin, namely

    A: It turned George Clooney into a class act overnight, because he vowed to never be in a film like that again, and

    B: WB might not have sanctioned Nolan’s new approach if the memory of Batman and Robin had not loomed large.

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    1. What tends to get lost in the discussion is that Batman Forever is almost as big an offender as Batman and Robin. It just isn’t nipples-on-the-batsuit bad. (Apparently when Bob Kane visited the Batman and Robin set he was wandering around asking, “Why are there nipples on the batsuit?” And I think we can all relate to that.)
      Too bad Tim Burton didn’t get the chance to make just one more installment of his own, and call it a trilogy.

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      1. I think he would have if Keaton had come back. Keaton pulled out first then Burton. I didn’t mind Val Kilmer as Batman, but that movie just shat on the Riddler and Two Face and what Nicole Kidman was doing in it passes my understanding.

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      2. I didn’t know that about Keaton. I thought the studio was simply unhappy with Burton because Batman Returns failed to sell toys. I do know that Michelle Phifer said she would only appear as Catwoman again if Burton directed the movie. Nice to see some loyalty. She was all ready to do a solo Catwoman film with Burton… the script was written, and it’s a shame it fell through. Those were the dark days, the days between Burton and Nolan, when Batman was light. Chalk it up as an overreaction to Batman Returns.

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