LOVED the Spidey movies when they first came out, but very disappointed by #3. Upon recent re-watching I'd say:
Spider-Man 2: 9/10
Spider-Man 3: 4/10
For me, the big reason for Sam Raimi to make a 3rd film is to wrap up the Peter/MJ/Harry plots. Pete needs to be shepherded into some kind of professional success, a measure of relationship/domestic stability, and come to terms with his former best friend. He does NOT need a new love interest or new villains. So what I don't need in SM3 is anything that distracts from those issues.
This edit is technically quite good, though some of the CG does look slightly dated now. Cuts were smooth and not distracting. It fixed the issue of Sandman retconning the previous films' story, but now it seems especially tenous for him to even be in the film. What is even the point of him? Venom has a far more grounded reason to be tied up with Peter/SM and be a villain, and yet he's so obviously squeezed in. I really want a SM3 with NO Venom. The focus should've been purely on Harry, but the studio screwed it up and didn't really make him into a proper villain, like The Hobgoblin. Franco kind of seems like he's phoning it in, too.
I don't know if any fanedit can fix these issues and still leave a movie with watching, but this film sadly doesn't do it for me. Halfway through, I realized there was just no redeeming the movie, title besides. A nice technical effort, but sadly it just didn't work for me.
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.
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.
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.