Asta 2

House and Spiderman - Two Things That Have Nothing In Common

This weekend I was one of the billion people who saw Spiderman 3. My short non-spoilery thought on the film is that it was not as good as the first two, but still better than many of the big budget summer blockbusters unleashed upon us. My big fear going into the film was that instead of focusing on a single villain as they had before they were giving us three plus Peter/Spidey’s turn to the dark side and thus the story would lack focus. My fear was well founded, plus, as one reviewer put it so well, they gave us everything but the kitchen sink.



I was confused as to who I was suppose to be siding with in MJ and Peter’s relationship. Peter let Spidey’s celebrity go to his head and he did, at times, act arrogant and selfish. But this is also a guy who has had to deal with the guilt over his uncle’s death, being wrongly accused of his best friend’s father’s murder, being estranged from that friend, having to lie to everyone around him, and be painted as a villain by much of the media. Now people like, admire, and respect him. It has to feel good and he’s basking in the glow and it’s making him oblivious to MJ’s troubles. (Btw, her Broadway singing debut storyline was totally unbelievable. With her weak vocal talent I doubt she ever would have been cast without screwing the producer or director. Even handwaving that she was cast, she would have been replaced during previews.) She chooses to wallow in self-doubt and perceived failure and gets pissed that Peter is not paying enough attention to what she’s feeling. Well, maybe if she had tried telling him.

Overall, I liked the way they handled the Harry’s storyline and his renewed friendship with Peter. I wish they hadn’t resorted to amnesia though. I was hopeful for a moment he was faking it, that as soon as Peter and MJ left the room that smile would fade and we would see that he had some dark, twisted plan in mind. But, nope, it’s really amnesia. And as soon as he commented to the nurse that he’d die for his two friends I knew what his fate was going to be.

There were so many actors underutilized in the film. James Cromwell’s had two brief appearances as the police chief – a character that could have been played by anyone in actor’s equity. Bryce Dallas Howard’s Gwen seemed to only be around to play, first, the damsel in distress and, later, a pawn in Dark!Peter’s plan to make MJ jealous.

Thomas Haden Church could have been awesome if they had decided why Sandman was there. The sick daughter that he went bad for in order to save disappeared. No attempt is made to explain how he changed and how he was dealing with that change. And did they need to rewrite Uncle Ben’s death? Peter’s quest for vengeance seemed like a retread of the first film and then we get ‘Oh, the bad guy isn’t really bad at all, it was all an accident!’

I liked Topher Grace as Eddie, but we are given an incredibly weak explanation for his changing into Venom (a name that is never even used in the film.) Eddie is a self-serving ass, yet it’s a big leap from that characterization to becoming a murderer because Peter takes his job and dates his girl. The black goo supposedly amplifies people’s emotions, but the only hint we got that Eddie was prone to such extreme violence was praying to God that Peter died.

Bruce Campbell’s cameo was probably his funniest of all three films. I liked that he was working with Peter rather than against him this time.

Alternately funny in the not-good way and cringe-worthy was Peter’s makeover. Tobey is great at playing loveable geek, but suave? Not so much. While he looked pretty good in the black shirt and suit, I was trying to decide if Peter Petrelli or Hitler was the inspiration for the haircut. And eyeliner? Really? The dancing, let us not speak of.

And for tonight’s TV viewing…

This was a much better episode than last week. Robert Sean Leonard was awesome playing Wilson on speed. It was nice to see him have the opportunity to cut loose and be funny. I loved his comment equating House doing something nice with the end of days. It was also an interesting way to reveal that Wilson has been on anti-depressants. It wasn’t a shock to me given what a mess his personal life is, the fact that his career was near ruins earlier in the season, and, well, House is his best friend. ;)

I’m still not certain if Wilson doping House really works. Accept for the smiling, which he has done before, House didn’t seem all that different. Is House really depressed? He’s a selfish SOB who doesn’t care whose feelings he tramples on and I think he experiences unhappiness he won’t admit to, but does that make him depressed?

Foreman quitting I believe is a knee-jerk reaction to causing the death of a patient. However, I also think his fear of turning into House as time passes is genuine. He doesn’t want to be that doctor who can be flip right before telling a patient they are going to die. I don’t believe that would happen. I have to work with people I don’t like and don’t fear turning into them. If anything, they help to ensure I don’t become like them. If Foreman was not still reeling from the loss of a patient he might see that he has been following Cameron’s advice these last three years – learning from the good and ignoring the bad.

Man, Chase can go from zero to eighty in the kiss ass department in about two seconds. Apparently, he feels there is some hierarchy amongst the three of them and he wants to usurp Foreman’s position. My real problem with Chase though was some perplexing characterization on the part of the writers. When did he get so insightful? Informing Foreman and House that it was shame that was keeping them from telling him the truth. It was a good point, Foreman didn’t want to cop to his fears and House didn’t want to consider Foreman’s words, but Chase has never been that observant. I would have bought it coming from Cameron more than him.

There was also some other character moments that threw me. Foreman’s declaring, “I don’t like you – never have, never will” to Chase. Didn’t we get past that sentiment awhile back? And House being so glib about telling the patient and her parents that she had two days to live. That seemed very much like the House we first met three years ago, but he has grown a tad more sympathetic since then.

Cuddy’s wardrobe is getting out of hand. Next week I’m expecting a see through blouse to make an appearance.

Cameron has a key to House’s apartment. That’s interesting since I doubt Foreman and Chase do.

I read on the TV Guide website that Piper Perabo’s character was a potential love interest for House. The character didn’t annoy me and I could kind of see why House would have a fleeting attraction to her, but I can’t see it developing beyond what we saw tonight.
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The dancing, let us not speak of.

*sarcasm* Yes, and let us not speak of how awesome it was *cough, cough*!!!
Actually I don't think that dark Peter was ever supposed to be cool or awesome. It's why I liked the dance so much. See, one of Peter Parker's key characteristics is that he's a nerd and a dork. It's what I love about the guy. And a nerd with confidence is still a nerd.

That little dance is a perfect example of that. Normally he'd hold back from doing it, because he's too shy to do so without his mask on. But with the suit, he no longer has those inhibitions to stop him from making a fool of himself.
I can get that from his first dance on the street, but the dancing in the club was to prove something to MJ and make her jealous and I didn't feel it was having the desired effect the filmmakers wanted it to. Maybe if they had toned down the moves and cut out the piano playing (which left me dwelling on where that talent came from), I would have been better with the scene.
My real problem with Chase though was some perplexing characterization on the part of the writers. When did he get so insightful? . . . . It was a good point, Foreman didn’t want to cop to his fears and House didn’t want to consider Foreman’s words, but Chase has never been that observant. I would have bought it coming from Cameron more than him.

oh yeah, I agree with that! It was so weird and out of character I almost expected him to also start going 'You are not interested in this young Jedi' and waving his hands around.
Hee! That actually would have made the seen better because the writers would at least be acknowledging that this is an unexpected and strange moment for Chase. But they played at as if Chase is Mr Insightful and this is the same guy who refuses to see that Cameron is serious and that he has no chance at a relationship with her.
Gah, still want to watch house; still too lazy to get hold of it!

I agree mostly with you about S3. It had great ideas but somehow the execution left me...bored. The thematic mix of Venom, Goblin and Sandman was shockingly fluid - all centring around the idea of redemption for men who have done terrible things. And I think that the ending scenes, with Peter forgiving Flint and Harry forgiving Peter were just beautiful. If the whole film was like that I would have been happy. Because I spent most of it wondering how they were going to redeem Peter, he'd been being such an ass. An ass with a reason to be sure, but still an ass. Killing the guy who didn't kill his uncle, hitting MJ when he had the suit, leaving Harry for dead. I was worried they'd got with the "it was just the suit!" explanation and I'd be really irked. Or that they'd make it okay because it just means he has "angst!" Don't worry kids! He's still inherently better than those villains!

But the end scenes...really did redeem him as he looked at himself, realised he'd done terrible things too and reached out to the man who killed his uncle. Then his friend reached out to him even though he (sort of) killed his father. It was really an incredibly merging of themes.

Too bad it didn't redeem the hour and a half of boredom that preceeded it. And that they ending (except those two scenes) was rushed. Grr. It's...such a waste.

MJ was kind of useless. I really liked Amnesia!Harry actually. Not because I don't think it's a cheap excuse but because it was wonderful and slightly heartbreaking to see Innocent!Harry. And because I always thought him becoming the Goblin and his insistance on ignoring everything Peter told him (YEAH, THANKS BUTLER GUY! You know when would have been a good time to mention what you knew? ANYTIME BEFORE NOW!) - I always felt that was kind of cheap. So while I also thought the amnesia was cheap...I enjoyed the poignancy (anvilicious though it was) that accompanied it.

Sort of like the ending. Some wonderful emotional beats not really upheld by a belaboured plot and forced character development. Also the action could have been AMAZING but I couldn't tell, the bloody camera was all over the place trying to be "edgy" or "gritty" or something. Gah.

Yeah. I just spent most of the time bored or vaguely stressed and the occasional moment thinking, "Wow! That's an amazing scene; too bad it's stuck in the middle of this pile of crap movie..."

Though the funny bits - especially Bruce Campbell - were brilliant!

I'll stop rambling now. :)
I felt like I needed Dramamine during the action sequences. I'd like to say they were spectacular, but everything was so fast and jumpy I couldn't really tell what was going on.

I forgot to mention the poor man's Alfred. Geez, the guy has known the truth for two years and decided to stand by and watch Harry be destroyed by anger and bitterness and revenge. WTF?

I really liked Harry in this film, much more so than the last. Perhaps one of the most poignant moments for me was in large part do to Peter. He was so thrilled to have his friend back and to have this clean slate to start over with him that he chose to ignore the fact that he might get his memory back. And I can imagine Harry was even angrier given that he was lied to for a second time by his best friend.

I believe Harry and Flint became men they never wanted to be and welcomed the chance to make some small amends (Harry helping Peter save MJ, Flint choosing to walk, or blow, away), but Eddie had no interest in redemption. He went so far as to pray to God to kill Peter. This is a guy who embraced evil to the point he would rather be destroyed then go on without the power. Thematically, I don't really see him fitting in with the other two though I think he could have been a fascinating character with a more fleshed out backstory.
felt like I needed Dramamine during the action sequences. I'd like to say they were spectacular, but everything was so fast and jumpy I couldn't really tell what was going on.

I forgot to mention the poor man's Alfred. Geez, the guy has known the truth for two years and decided to stand by and watch Harry be destroyed by anger and bitterness and revenge. WTF?


Word to both those observations.

And I can imagine Harry was even angrier given that he was lied to for a second time by his best friend.

True, and not something I'd considered. Though I imagine Peter would be a bit wary of telling Harry the truth given how reluctant he was to believe it last time.

Thematically, I don't really see him fitting in with the other two though I think he could have been a fascinating character with a more fleshed out backstory.

True. I think my angle was - the black suit was part of the theme of Peter letting the fame go to his head and the part of his character that needed the forgiveness at the end. So that's how I saw Venom fitting in thematically. Were I gifting this movie with a sense of epic symbolism and great literature (which I'm not) I'd say that he rejects Venom at the top of the church, expelling the sin in him, and then literally destroys it as a symbolic rejection of that part of his character (though I find the idea of someone being forgiven for his sins much more affecting than a man rejecting his sins - but the rejection may be an important part of forgiveness...soooo).

Ultimately, though, that's a place that Venom has in Peter's story, not anything to do with Eddie as a character who was...such a wasted opportunity.

Personally I don't see why they needed to introduce him at all. Originally wasn't Venom brought back from space? Instead of the lazy, coincidental comet plotline, why didn't they bring back J Jonah Jamieson's astronaut son who almost married Mary-Jane? Now there's someone with a ready-made grudge against Spider-Man and a decent reason to bring Venom back from space by accident. Feh.

I haven't seen Spiderman yet, and despite the bad reviews I still want to, because as you said, it's still better than the recent blockbusters that have some out. That and I want to see Bruce Campbell ;)

I loved Wilson last night. Robert Sean Leonard has deserved more screentime for the longest time, and he really came through. I'm not sure that unhappiness = depression; I've always felt that depression can prevent someone from functioning in the world, and that you can be unhappy yet still be able to do your job, etc.

As for Cuddy, if her blouses get any more low cut I'm going to start calling her Madame.
I was almost praying that Cuddy didn't bend over. It was such a cheap shot and I can't solely blame the writers and director because I think Lisa could have asked for them to shoot the scene from another angle.

Just make sure to load up on caffiene before 'Spiderman' and you'll be fine. ;)
I was trying to decide if Peter Petrelli or Hitler was the inspiration for the haircut.

Hahahahaaaaaa

I wasn't too fond of the amnesia bit either (it's a lame soap opera trick, come on!) but I guess Harry being light and charming and non-evil won me over in the end. :)
James Franco's smile almost makes the amnesia bit worth it. ;) Actually, I really liked happy Harry and his renewed friendship with Peter. I just wish they could have come up with a better catalyst for it all.

One thing I forgot to mention, I'd like someone to explain how fast Harry was able to heal from the explosion. Or was Peter being an ass for months?