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Spiderman 2

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I saw it and loved it. The theme was something like "the responsiblity for self-sacrifice" and I thought that theme was dramatized very well. The first Spiderman tried to get that theme in, but it came in the form of some isolated dialogue and a sad ending that came out of nowhere. Spiderman 2 was a much better integrated film.

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Yep me too (reply to rationalegoist). It felt so unreal when grandma gave her "advice"... Hollywood has been dancing around that theme for years, but when she said it so openly, I was paralyzed for a few seconds. The world suddenly stopped making sense - that old wonderful grandma couldn't actually be that evil... could she?! It was bad.

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Ultimately the explicitly stated theme comes across as senseless, since the plot doesn't actually portray it. I'm going to try to hide the spoiler information below in text that is an identical color to the background. Highlight the following with your mouse it if you want to see it.

Spoiler---

The idea is that Spiderman can't have the love of his life, Mary Jane, because being with her would put her in danger, because he's Spiderman and has enemies. He feels that all of his loved ones will be put in danger because of who he is. But his loved ones are put in danger throughout the movie even when he is specifically not being Spiderman (e.g. Aunt May when Doc Oc randomly kidnaps her, or MJ when Doc Oc wants to use Peter Parker to find Spiderman). The people around him are put in danger randomly, not because of anything about him. And, in the end, he doesn't have to sacrifice anything! He gets the girl, which doesn't cohere at all with the notion of him having to give up the things he wants most. This isn't presented as a counter to that idea; it is simply tacked on and doesn't integrate with the film. All you end up with is a handful of action sequences of varying quality. (The first movie suffered from similar problems.)

---end spoiler.

EDIT: Hey, it worked! The tag is "color=#F5F9FD", with brackets instead of quotes, if anyone else ever needs to use it.

Edited by mattbateman
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Ultimately the explicitly stated theme comes across as senseless, since the plot doesn't actually portray it.

I agree that that was the case with the first film to a large extent, but not so much with the second.

Spoiler--

I found the ending of Spiderman 2 to integrate well with the film. It showed that this "hero" is actually at the mercy of other people in his life in the acquisition of his values.

--end spoiler.

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Daniel,

Spoiler ----

It seemed as though the ultimate theme of the movie was the struggle between whether or not one should act in one's selfish interests or sacrifice them in order to do what is "right," namely, serve others with the power that one has. Throughout the movie, the idea that Spiderman has such a duty to others is constantly asserted. Not only is his period of "selfishness" in which he abandons his being Spiderman portrayed as being the negative side of Parker's character, but you also have assertions made by (and later acknowledged by Parker) that intelligence is a GIFT which must be used to serve the good of mankind.

Furthermore, I did not think that the movie was integrated at all. There were a number of "slice of life" scenes that had absolutely no purpose. The villian had nothing to do with the main conflict of the movie except to act as a catalyst, there were a number of sub-themes that seemed to just be thrown in with very little connection. If anything, I think all of these things were included to sugarcoat the heavily altruist theme that pervades the movie.

At the end, when Parker decides to be with Mary Jane, he does so in direct contradiction to his decision to be Spiderman for the sake of serving others. So which is it: selfish interests or serving others? We never get an answer. Parker chooses both: to have his cake and eat it too.

Ultimately, the movie demonstrates this contradiction that permeates the views of most people: it is "right" to serve others but it is practical to do things for oneself. So, Parker decides to do what most people do: acknowledge his duty to serve others while guiltily engaging in some selfish acts.

Completely disregarding the technical flaws that this movie has (which I see a lot of), I do not understand how you could not be annoyed by the heavily-altruist theme of the movie. Do you think that the movie was not pro-altruism? I'm definitely interested to hear your answer, seeing as how my disappointment in this film came after much anticipation.

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RationalEgoist,

Spoiler--

I have already stated that I thought the movie's theme was pro-self-sacrifice. (So is Victor Hugo.) Based on the first film, I knew not to expect a movie with a philosophically true theme. But great art does not have to be great philosophy.

There were some slice of life scenes, but I didn't find them to be too disturbing. Abstracting away from them, I found a lot left in the movie to enjoy.

The villain was not central to the plot. So what? The central conflict in the movie is between Peter and MJ. Is there some rule that in superhero movies the central conflict has to be between the superhero and the villain?

I didn't find that the altruist theme was very sugarcoated--perhaps the slice of life scenes had that effect, but not very much so.

You are right that the movie illustrates the contradiction of altruism, but that's a virtue of the movie, not a flaw. The movie painted a true portrait of altruism, complete with contradictions.

--end spoiler.

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I was just watching an interview on tv with the cast of Spiderman, and the director was complaining that in all the Marvel comic characters, he couldn't find one that would or could be truly selfish, in the popular term of one who destroys others in attaining personal goals.... Then someone suggested Dr.Octopus to him.... Of course, he's a scientist.

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This has turned into the invisible thread. B) My post may contain some minor spoilers as well, but I'll try to keep them to a minumum. If you haven't seen the movie yet and are really that concerned about it, just don't read this post.

Spider-Man 2 is philosophically overwhelmingly bad, but esthetically it is incredibly mixed. There are many good things and bad things about it. I think it is the most mixed movie I have ever seen, so I am still having trouble deciding whether I liked it overall or not.

In some ways, the plot is much more integrated than the first film. But there are also several glaring plot holes. That normally doesn't bother me so much--I'm willing to give a story a lot of leeway in that regard--but some of the holes were so big that they really undercut the story, so that it didn't make a lot of sense.

Also, while the general story was basically integrated, the direction of the movie was all over the place. One scene in particular was done as a pure horror film, which was kind of out of place in a superhero movie. The Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid reference was also out of place, and I'm not even sure whether it was supposed to be an homage or a parody (too often today, the two are disgustingly combined). What others here have called the "slice-of-life scenes" were just awful--the movie would have been much better if the elevator scene, for instance, were cut altogether.

But there were some really great moments stylistically, such as the bank robbery scene. The moment when he's standing in front of the vault door about to rip it off is one of the best stylized visuals I have seen in a movie in a long time. The fight sequences between Spidey and Doc Ock are also for the most part very well done, original and well-executed, and quite exciting. I also thought the acting was for the most part really good.

Philosophically, the movie was a joke. The theme that heroism is self-sacrifice is of course awful, and it can only be achieved through a series of logical fallacies. But the fallacies are so painfully obvious that no one who watches the film at all critically can possibly miss them, and thus the theme doesn't follow. For instance, there are a number of false alternatives. When Peter decides to stop being Spider-Man, why does that mean that he can do absolutely nothing (apparently not even alert the police or call for help) when he sees a fellow student being beaten up by a bunch of thugs in an alley? And when he does finally accept his supposed responsibility again, why does he have to run off every time he hears a siren--are the police a bunch of incompetent jerks, who can't take care of any problem without his help? Can't he be somewhat selective about what he does as Spider-Man? This movie wants us to believe that a person is either a hero who has the responsibility to sacrifice himself to anybody who needs any help at all, or is a complete jerk who doesn't give a damn about anybody else under any circumstances.

But there are some nice moments in terms of content as well. The scene where the New Yorkers stand up to the villain to try to help Spider-Man is much more believable than the similar scene in the first film. I thought it was actually kind of touching. The ending was also a nice contrast from the rest of the film, although it does basically contradict it (although I think that the ending is rather complex, with a lot of philosophical errors underlying it).

Oh yeah, and the fear of science is kind of ridiculous as well. The plot of the second film, though better done, is in a lot of ways the same as the plot of the first. A scientist goes nuts and kills a bunch of people in his quest to improve upon nature. And we can look forward (if that's the right expression) to more of that in the series, with the Dr. Connors character (Peter's one-armed science professor), for those of you who are familiar with the comic books. The "science is evil" is the next strongest theme of the series, right after the "heroism is self-sacrifice" theme.

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Awww man. I just came back from it a good hour ago. The movie was quite exciting. In fact it was way better than the first one. The movie was at a faster pace. You could sympathize with the characters more, especially Peter Parker.

But man do they crash and burn philosophically. I almost felt myself faint! I wanted to jump up and run to the screen shouting, “don’t listen!” during Grams speech.

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The problem for me was that I couldn't sympathize with the characters. Peter Parker is definitely not a hero to me, therefore the movie was meaningless. I should have spent my money on something probably more entertaining even though retarded, like Dodgeball..... at least I might have laughed.

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Awww man. I just came back from it a good hour ago. The movie was quite exciting. In fact it was way better than the first one. The movie was at a faster pace. You could sympathize with the characters more, especially Peter Parker.

But man do they crash and burn philosophically. I almost felt myself faint! I wanted to jump up and run to the screen shouting, “don’t listen!” during Grams speech.

I agree and had the same reaction.

The explicit philosophy is quite bad. As a work of art, though, it was quite good.

Near the end, I was quite caught up in the story. I saw a way for the movie to end the way I thought it should, which required MJ doing something that I didn't think she would.

And then she did it.

It made my day. It's not the best movie out there, but I had a good time.

(This post was deliberately vague to avoid spoilers.)

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The train thing was just like the bridge scene when Spidey is fighting the Green Goblin in the first movie. Talk about needing some originality.

I actually thought a point was trying to be made with that one Tryp.

Spiderman is put in the same particular situation where a crowd of people must be saved. The difference is when the people decide to help Spiderman and stand up for him. You know what I mean?

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Has anyone else seen the movie? What did you think of it?

I haven't seen Spiderman 2 yet, but it seems promising from what I've seen thus far. Then again, so did the third Matrix movie, which means I'm not waiting for anything too fancy. As for the first Spiderman, I didn't like it.

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****WARNING SLIGHT SPOILER******

i didnt expect to get anything philosophical out of this movie...although i did feel like punching aunt may when she was saying her annoying speech...and the serving mankind speech was dumb too... but i thought overall it was pretty good. i liked the fighting scenes and i thought spidey's character is seen more in depth. i was reminded of hitchcock a bit because of the different camera angles and the surgery room scene...wasnt actually gory ...but it played on your imagination which is always worse. as for the ending...well isnt it a cliche that the hero ALWAYS gets the girl?

P.S. did anyone else come out humming the spidey song...? :D

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Somebody hasn't seen the first Spider-Man movie.

Ahh, same hero, same universe!

As for the "science is evil" posts, I honestly don't believe the writers for Spiderman are trying to say that or give that impression. I just think they believe thats the only way to get qualified super villians. The only villian I can think of without super powers that weren't given by science is the Kingpin, and he's boring enough! Spiderman tries to stay away from the mystical idea of super powers, thats why Spiderman was given his power from science. The Spiderman universe is actually making it clear that it isn't science that's evil but sometimes if the wrong people gets its hands on it...

The Green Goblin wasn't evil while he was making the weapontry, Doc Oct wasn't evil while making the arms, Reptile wasn't evil while trying to grow his arms back. You guys know what I mean?

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