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Serves you right, you said you were working
So we went to see Spider-Man 3 Friday night, courtesy The Company Which Loves Us All, which bought (andres_s_p_b calculated) $12,000 worth of tickets because, um, they felt like it?

And now we're being stalked.

1. As we pulled into the movie theater parking lot, a large spider climbed up the windshield and onto the roof of the car. Clearly it wanted to know what its larger, more famous relative was up to.

2. The next day, while I was cleaning the rat cage, this weird-looking spider kept interfering. We've got plastic sheeting up behind and under the cage to prevent the rats from damaging the walls or carpet. It wipes clean easily, and I was wiping it clean when this large, sandy-colored spider with giant black antenna or eyestalks or freaky-looking palps or something decided that it would be fun to hang out underneath the plastic. It kept freaking out at the sponge and running away, and then coming back and getting in my way again. But it was the strangest-looking creature, with the pale body and the big black appendages -- it looked for all the world like Groucho Marx.

First, the good stuff. I liked the crystallizing special effect at the creation of the Sandman. Someone needs to make a usericon out of a shot of that sign that says "Particle Physics Testing Facility. Keep Out."

But that's about all I liked.

Problem the first: The physics are not internally consistent. I can deal with magic superpowers, but I would like them to work the same way in all scenes of the movie, please. Also, where do the teeth go?

Problem the second: Any time Mr. Scientist Dude opened his mouth to talk about the Venom-creature. NO. Just NO. I can live with the creature; I don't need it to be realistic or plausible or even vaguely possible, but please don't try to explain it like it is when it isn't. (I did like that they didn't try to explain the vibrating-metal thing. It made no sense, but they didn't wave it around in the air going LOOK THIS MAKES NO SENSE, so I could kinda go with it.)

Problem the third, which is the big one: Total lack of emotional realism. None of the characters acted like humans[1]. Sure, any given scene was okay, but they just didn't fit together in any kind of coherent way. Too many unforgivable actions were forgiven, for no reason except the plot said so, with a total passage of time measured in days if not hours. Just doesn't happen.

Also, they lifted that dance scene from The Mask. It really, really did not fit in this movie.

[1] Except Gwen Stacy. I actually rather liked her. Yes, bubble-head; yes, damsel-in-distress; but when Peter acted like a dick, she apologized and left. That was the nicest thing anybody did in the whole film. And Aunt May gets off more or less all right.

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Heh. I've been wondering if it's worth goin' to, m'self. I just get so darn agitated when the World Does Not Make Sense in other-world fictions. Remember the seizures you had when we were watching the episode of Angel that takes place in the physics lab at MIT, where this physics student was making a machine that would stop the world at the moment he was having sex with his girlfriend? Andn you were freaking out all over the room whenever they started talking equations because...well, because it was so completely ridiculous you could (you did?) cry. I get like that.

Was it really sit-through-able?

We've started watching the new Dr. Who via Netflix (all hail Netflix); in one of the episodes we watched last week, there was a bit where I quite literally stuck my fingers in my ears and went "LA LA LA" until they were done talking nonsense. If you can do that, you can probably sit through Spider-Man 3. Plug up the ears whenever anyone in a lab coat's onscreen, and I think you'll avoid most of the worst of it.

However, it isn't possible to avoid the emotional nonsense in the same way as the "science" nonsense, so I really can't recommend the movie. All it has going for it is spectacle. If the emotions made sense, it would have a decent plot, but they really really just don't, so all you're left with is assorted set pieces that are fun to watch (for the action parts) or would theoretically be emotionally affecting if they fit together in any logical way (for the relationship parts). But since there isn't an overall structure actually tying things together, it doesn't really function as a movie, just as a collection of scenes.

So I would say, if you would enjoy watching trailers on the big screen for two hours, you are quite likely to enjoy Spider-Man 3. If not, probably not. I mean, I did in fact sit through it, and I was not bored, but I could only hold down the urge to viciously mock until the credits started to roll because it was a very full theater and I would have annoyed a lot of people. And I did make some agitated hand gestures in the middle there....

At least it was better than I had expected -- after seeing the third X-Men and second Pirates of the Caribbean I was thinking this one would probably turn out totally godawful too.

Dropped a zero there. I figured it was $120,000 of movie tickets at retail prices (~$10 x 2 tickets x ~6000 Mtn View employees, but you probably get a discount when you buy that many, and I assume not everyone took them up on the offer).

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