Review by Phlegmbot — September 22, 2010 @ 9:18 pm
I’ll say this for my first fan edit viewing: I would never have known it wasn’t edited by a pro.
It looks good and, yes, the story does flow far more smoothly, and, without a doubt, the story of Harry vs. Peter is now at the forefront and is truly the spine of the movie, as it should’ve been. Great job on that.
That said, I always had two big problems w/Spider-Man 3 (a thousand little problems [e.g., why doesn't Spidey's spider-sense ever seem to work in this flick?], but 2 big ones):
1. Films always thrive on coincidence, but there are too many in SM3. Gwen is Peter’s lab partner, the model he saves, daughter of a police captain who arranges to have her give him the key to the city and so on. And Brock is a photog at the Bugle AND Gwen’s beau AND in the church at just the right time…and so on.
2. Everything in the Spidey movie-verse is lab-based, Earth science-based sci-fi. But the symbiote…the symbiote is still from outer space. This works in the comics b/c Spider-Man interacts with characters like The Silver Surfer on a regular basis. In the movie, not so much. (The ani series “Spectacular Spider-Man” resolved this by making all of the characters incredulous at the discovery of life from space…which also worked).
This edit didn’t fix the above two issues, so the level of suspension of disbelief you must utilize to buy the story is still quite high. I hate to knock something w/out offering suggestions for fixing, so below are my thoughts — pardon me if I go on a bit….
My recommendation would be to OPEN the film w/an establishing shot of ESU and then we cut to the Doc Conners/Peter Parker scene where they’re looking at the alien symbiote, and perhaps extend the time at ESU with cut or existing scenes from this movie or even the earlier ones….we then segue into nighttime with Pete & MJ on the web looking at the stars, SKIP the meteor landing, but show that the symbiote is now on his bike. So not only is the symbiote some kind of ESU lab experiment now, it is apparently following Peter from the get-go. Pete who was already warned (by Conners) not to touch it.
Gwen also doesn’t work in any way (in spite of the great efforts of our erstwhile editing genius) — her character has no arc and is hardly any kind of foil for MJ. But she’s there for drama and for Peter to basically use. So, pardon my backseat editing, but if I had the ability to do this, I’d:
1. Alter the crane accident to make it a generic Spidey saves the day scene. No close-ups of Gwen, which, in a sense, would take her OUT of the scene.
2. I believe there’s a scene in the original of Gwen as his lab partner, yes? Keep that. (Or did I dream it?)
3. Excise Gwen from Spider-Man Day. Maybe use Gwen’s audio (but perhaps deepen the voice so it sounds like some city official) over shots of the crowd and cut to Spidey doing tricks and showing off, then see MJ leaving; crop the shot of Spidey giving a thumbs up so we only see him (a little video degradation would be acceptable here in my book).
4. The proposal/restaurant scene remains unchanged until Gwen’s exit: from there, you can slice MJ’s audio track. If MJ just says “How come you never mentioned her? She’s your lab partner? She thinks you’re a genius and had her polished nails all over you?” Peter: “She’s just a girl in my class.” MJ: “Do you want to push me away?…” and everything else remains to the end of the scene.
5. It also looks like some clever editing can take the dancing scene in the jazz club out. Pete’s being a jerk from the get-go, and that could be made clear differently, with Gwen storming out and Peter still fighting w/the club bouncers.
Man, I wish I had the talent or the time for this. I’m still very impressed with the look and flow of this edit, but until the major two issues are resolved, the movie itself still comes off as too darned weak.