I really wish I could say I enjoyed this. Don't get me wrong, this is probably the best version of this movie we'll see given the material available - but therein lies the problem. Spider-Man 3 is a mess. And on top of being a mess, it's a dour film that ends this trilogy on a sour note.
Which has nothing to do with the edit of course. I loved it when I first saw it some time ago. But upon rewatch, after working my way through the first two films (SM2 is one of my favorite movies), it leaves a lot to be desired. Which makes badscooter's accomplishment all the more amazing, really. badscooter has been able to deftly cut so much of the cringeworthy nonsense that dragged this movie down - Sandman as Ben's killer, Harry's butler reveal, jazz club, etc. And badscooter does wonders at refocussing the film on Harry/MJ/Peter.
Unfortunately, this film's problems are too deeply rooted for even a talented film editor to fix.
Thank you for this edit, Badscooter. It's a huge improvement over the original version.
I recommend this edit to anyone who enjoyed certain elements of Spider-Man 3, but was turned off by its overall goofiness and lame subplots. I love that Sandman doesn't have a personal connection to Peter anymore (the scene where black-suit Spider-Man angrily goes after Sandman and 'kills' him, now comes across as a jealous and ego-inflated Spider-Man going after the guy who beat him in an earlier fight, rather than going after the man who killed his uncle. This actually makes Peter's descent with the symbiote seem much much darker).
I also like that some of Gwen Stacy's stuff was cut out. Her character wasn't done well in this series.
With this edit, I found myself sympathizing with Harry and MJ A LOT more.
And of course, the greatest thing about this edit is that there's no ridiculous montage of Peter being 'bad'.
I thought all the editing was great, and I like the image of MJ that flashed as Peter was in bed and about to be taken by the symbiote. I would have removed the images of Ben Parker though since they seemed to come out of nowhere.
I like the small edits here and there of removing silly one-liner humour...it helped keep me engaged in the drama and action.
And the only thing in this edit that still significantly bothered me was how Peter sort of danced along with the marching band at the ceremony to give Spider-Man the key to the city.
Overall, a great edit that turned an unwatchable movie into a very watchable one.
Spider-Man 3. The black sheep in the saga of the webshooting hero. The main problem about it being that it was a movie at odds with itself: at the same time the campiest and the darkest in the series, the most comedic and the most dramatic. In the same movie we had the hero beating his girlfriend and almost becoming a murderer, AND goofing around in sequences out of a ZAZ spoof. Well, that’s no longer the case in Badscooter’s reshaping of it: he has focused in the human drama and the love triangle between Peter, MJ, and Harry, and also in the darker aspects of the plot, pushing extraneous elements centering on the villains and parallel plots to the background, and losing almost all of the goofy comedy and plot contrivances. Which results in a much improved watching experience.
PLOT: Now the center of it is Peter’s relationship with MJ. That’s what moves the story along and what motivates the fall and recovery of Spidey. A major change, and huge improvement, is that now Flint Marko had nothing to do with Uncle Ben’s murder, and this removal is achieved in a way in which no one would suspect that was the case in the original if they had never seen it. No traces left at all. Thus, Peter’s descent into the dark side is now motivated by personal love life failure. And it will be his love for MJ what saves him (and her) in the end. Harry’s character arc runs parallel to this, and thanks to a key change near the end, what makes him ultimately tick will be love and friendship as well. It’s now more than ever a story of (as the subtitle aptly puts it) redemption. Still, if you thought the love triangle was soap opera in the original, you’ll think the same thing about this. There’s only as much that fanediting can fix. 9/10.
IMAGE QUALITY: Remarkably good. It’s SD DVD, but the source was Blu-Ray and the video is clean and crisp. There might be some very minimal stuttering and also very slight pixelization in fast motion-heavy shots, but one has to be looking for them, and looking really close, to notice. As for the edits, flawless. Not a single hard one. 9/10.
AUDIO QUALITY: I don’t have proper home theater gear so I don’t even know if this was 5.1 or 2.0, but it sounded good overall. I noticed saturation distortions in the noisiest moments, but that probably has more to do with my loudspeakers totally sucking than with anything else. The editing is again perfect, with no hard cuts at all. 7/10.
DIFFERENCE TO THE ORIGINAL: It’s way more focused and centered overall. The most offensively cheesy moments are gone (no Saturday Night Fever Pete, no cooking, no landing in front of the American flag, no JJJ pills…). Secondary characters are much less intrusive now: Gwen Stacy is no longer a model, which is much more realistic (let’s face it, Peter Parker may have his charm but is not the kind of guy supermodels drool over), and Eddie Brock has no relationship with her at all (good, everybody being connected to everybody in the original made NY seem like an awfully small place), other characters like Captain Stacy are hardly in the movie (I didn’t mind him but no big loss anyway), and silly moments have been heavily trimmed or completely eliminated all through. The biggest casualty, as I’ve mentioned, is “Sandman shot Uncle Ben”, which was contrived and I’m happy to lose. Overall, this carries a lot less fat and stupid humor. There are laughs left, but they mostly work and are funny (JJJ’s best moments, and the great Bruce Campbell). 9/10.
OVERALL PRESENTATION: This has been made available both as a single layer DVD, which I’m reviewing, and an AVI file. The DVD has a still, silent main menu and scene selection. Not the flashiest or best looking I’ve seen, but it’s all we really need and it achieves its purpose. 6/10.
ENTERTAINMENT: Head and shoulders above the theatrical release. Pacing is consistently good, and annoyance has been removed all through. This has not turned the movie into The Godfather, it hasn’t even turned it into Spider-Man 2, but this is probably as much as it can be done. 9/10.
Badscooter shows genuine talent and a great deal of cinematic intuition in this, his firstling. I might be a little biased in my appreciation because I had a bit of input in the creation process of this edit, but that means I can more clearly see where the stitches are. And right now even myself am having a hard time in spotting them! :smile:
I don’t know if someone who totally hated the theatrical release with a passion will appreciate this one, but IMO fans of the previous two installments will have a version they won’t be ashamed to keep next to part 1 and 2 on their shelves. Overall: 9/10.
Sam Raimi is a filmmaker who has my deepest empathy, as his great films show true passion and potential. This makes it all the worse when his bad films have constantly been ruined by studio interference, when being given creative control would have made them great.
Thanks to Badscooter, we have a version of this film that is actually the version Sam Raimi intended to make.
What he has done is focus the thematic arc of the film, removing any elements that distracted the viewer from focussing on the elements Sam Raimi wanted us to pay attention to. Little things stick out here and there as subtly profound visual arcs that I completely missed the first time because the other unrelated arcs distracted me from being able to see it; for instance, Harry and Peter's first dialogue scene in the film mirrors their last, with Peter standing over Harry to cut between a low and high angle shot. By having both their first and last conversations as friends visualized the same way, the viewer reflects on everything that has transpired in the evolution of their friendship between those two scenes. They are able to serve as bookends; the visual similarity signals the beginning scene and end scene to the arc of their friendship.
PROFOUND THINGS LIKE THIS ARE SO MUCH MORE CLEAR IN THIS VERSION OF THE FILM!!!
It is truly a well guided thematic arc, refocussing the viewer on what the film is truly about: the horrible things people are willing to do for love, and how those actions evolve into destruction. Every relationship based in love causes the character in question to do horrible things in the name of that love. It evolves into the consequencial flames of the final act of the film, which now has a clearer purpose than when all the subplots that weren't building to it were there.
The only real problem is there's still too much cutting back and forth between the other villains. I'm not sure Badscooter could have altogether cut Sandman and Venom, although I'm not even sure if that was the solution if he could have. Not his fault, but cutting together 3 unrelated narratives of 3 unrelated conflicts from 3 unrelated villains still bogs down the film... only it's less of a problem now due to his brilliant editing choices. It's certainly FAR better than the official editing together of said narratives in the film.
The copy I downloaded didnt have the greatest video quality but as I watched it that soon became insignificant.
The removal of Sandmans "Uncle ben plot" worked brilliantly and a lack of personal stake in Sandman made Peters venom transformation all the more dark.
All the characters were improved as much as they could be while keeping the plot and cast (I'm looking at you Topher Grace) intact.
Spiderman 3 was never an AWFUL movie but its lost potential made it unenjoyable this earns it the qualification of a movie I can ENJOY.