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Sunday, July 04, 2004

Quick thoughts. 

Spider-Man 2 -- It's a damn good movie. Everyone figured out their groove the first time around, and this one is pure payoff. Spider-Man 2 is the best superhero movie ever made in the sense that it's finally figured out the balancing act between the main character's real life and masked life. It is far from the best superhero movie that can be made; it is, in fact, not even the best movie of the year. But it'll still treat you right.

It still bugs me that "Spider-Man" has a hyphen when "Batman" and "Superman" don't.

Napolean Dynamite -- I'm going to hazard a guess and say filmmakers Jared and Joshua Hess have a copy of the Rushmore Criterion DVD on their shelves. Probably the screenplay, too. I'll go so far as to say they can probably recite Bottle Rocket line by line. Why do I say all this?

Because it's evident that these two guys very much want to be Wes Anderson. What they haven't figured out is that behind the maladjusted characters driven by their idiosyncracies, the intentionally tacky production design, and the "slice o' life" stories found in Anderson movies is a reason for the audience to give a shit about anything that happens. Napolean is boring and distractingly off-putting, his friend Pedro is wooden to the point of comatose, and the rest of the cast are obvious, one-note caricatures.

Come to think of it, it's like a latter-day Christopher Guest movie without the pedigree.

ADDENDUM: The apparent nomination of ND into cult classic status is yet another reason why that rather ridiculous argument that because audience members aren't as nerdy as Peter Parker, they can't enjoy the movie as much as comics readers from the '60's is complete and total bullshit. There isn't a single redeeming, interesting, or even sympathetic quality to Napolean, but mindless trend-zombies are looking for their next Donnie Darko, so there you have it.

Of course I see the rest of the thread and realize someone already made that point. Gah.

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