Oh, 2007, the summer of threes is upon thee.
I know I said I'd comment on Spidey this Sunday back when this Sunday was, like three Sunday's ago. So sue me. And send She-Hulk with the summons. Seriously, why will nobody get on that?
My lovely live-in girlfriend and fiance did not care for Spidey and Shrek to the same extent I did, but then I didn't love Pirates as much as she. So we're even. Also, she's a better person than I am generally, so maybe we're not even.
I liked them all, I did. Buuuut... Shrek 3? Not better than Shrek 2. Spidey 3? Not better than Spidey 2.
Worse? I guess that would follow, wouldn't it? Not MUCH worse... or is that damning with faint praise? Shrek is fun. Funny, light-hearted. Loved Merlin. Enjoyed the new princesses. Felt bad for Arthur, loathed Charming, y'know a solid 3 stars of 4. Just a wonderful premise and Will Stieg would probably be as surprised as anyone that you could squeeze THREE movies out of his tiny, tiny, itsy-bitsy book. Does Shrek 4 seem like a good idea? I assure you it does not. Slightly weaker than Shrek 2 is a VERY good sign that you should now pat yourselves on the back and try something new.
But, good gravy, they're talking about THREE MORE movies! How the heck is THAT gonna work? Shrek turned the fairy tale on its head in good-natured satirical grouchiness. The OGRE is the HERO, and his beautiful true love... ALSO an ogre. Shrek 2 continued to make the good guys loathsome and traditional bad guys into our underdogs. Confusingly, Shrek 3 has bad guys as the bad guys and good guys as the good guys. At some point, they must have forgotten what they were rebelling against.
Now what, pray tell, is Shrek 4 going to be about? The meanderings of ogre babies and dragon-donkey fusion babies (drunkeys, I likes to call 'em)? How about Shrek 5? Lord Farquad's Revenge? Or will Arthur take over as the hero? In which case is this even a Shrek movie anymore?
Now Spidey 3 on the other hand, I loved. I did. It's no Spidey 2, but so few things are. This movie suffered only from trying to satisfy director, fans, and producers with a villain EACH. Somehow, in a comic like say, Infinite Crisis, you can have 30 heroes and 30 villains and yet still move me with the heart of the story in the midst of chaos.
But in a comic movie, somehow, this has yet to happen.
I know Venom fans who think Venom sucked, but I was not a big enough fan to feel this way. Venom is a one-note villain who was handled (for my money) even BETTER than he deserved. Sandman fans... WHAT Sandman fans? Seriously, this guy is a one-noter in the comics also, but on screen I enjoyed him immensely.
And Harry? What can I say. In the comics he went mad as well, Goblin-ed up and fought Peter half-heartedly, but in the end he got counselling, married, and had a kid who grew up to be a good guy, too (in some universes I could mention). But here? The poor guy dropped further and arced higher than I'd seen in the funny books and I was GLAD to see him as a hero and DEEPLY saddened at his death. Kudos. (How come Spidey didn't try to rush him to a hospital though? At the end, you know. He and MJ just think: oh he's been mortally wounded redeeming himself, and it's sunrise so he's DEFINITELY beyond help so we won't even try. (Poetic license and all, I'm just bein' a dink.)
Adding the Staceys was a head scratcher since they lived to the end. In some ways I see the value of their cameos instead of "Random New Threat to MJ girl" and "Random Cop Guy".
But finally a line of Stan Lee's makes the cut! Thanks, guys. And thanks to Bruce Campbell, Simmons, and both Raimiseses. Nice work all. Amazing trilogy, Just superb. Well done.
BUT WAIT! They wanna make more?
And why wouldn't they? They're rolling in the cash-a-roo. If I was them I'd make those movies until I was rich enough to buy countries and get a full-time staff of butt-kissers. And buy a flying car.
But I guess the difference between us is that I'd make a She-Hulk movie next. And a Captain Marvel movie (the DC Captain Marvel, not the Marvel Captain Marvel.) Concrete? Dreadstar? Sandman? Fables? Young Avengers? Ant-Man? The list goes on.
I'm saying give Spidey a rest for a decade or two. He done good. Don't drive these concepts on beyond adequate. The audience won't take it forever. Just look at Star Trek... oh, who am I kidding? I'll watch Star Trek 12 or Spidey 8: Arachno-Disco until my eyes fall out and my lady leaves me and I sit in an alley wearing a tinfoil hat telling my opinions to a stray cat.
But I don't have to like it.
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