on July 1, 2004
Just when I was about ready to throw in the towel on Hollywood and its univentive sequel/remake/book adaption craze of unoriginal recycling, I sat down to see the second chapter in Sam Raimi's "Spider Man" series. While I enjoyed the first film, it never really drew me in emotionally. It had some real cool action sequences and some interesting special effects but the story was very paint-by-numbers comic book fare. I enjoyed the film's cinematic style, which seemed to me like an homage to the 50's-style of films, but while I wasn't turned off by the the hero's backstory, I was never fully compelled by it either. When I had heard all of the cast members spit the usual studio speech about how the sequel would be even better, I took it very much with a grain of salt. By the time I came out of this movie, however, I was a believer.
"Spider Man 2" takes place two years after the original where Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) is struggling with the realization that his superhero alter-ego is alienating him from everyone that he loves. His best friend, Harry (James Franco) is stelling stewing over his father's death at the hands of Spidey and the object of his affections, Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) is fed up by Pete's inability to committ to her. If that wasn't bad enough, his commitment to crime fighting has cost him more than a few jobs and he's struggling to pay his rent. On the Spider-Man side of things, he has to deal with a new enemy, Doc Ock (Alfred Molina), a transformed version of Otto Octavius, a brilliant fusion engineer whose expirement ends up killing his wife and subsquently driving him insane. As far as super-villians go, this one's a doosy.
"Spider Man 2" improves on so many aspects of the first film. Where the first film had Maguire as the akward teen coping with his newfound powers and subsquent responsibilites, this one paints him as the reluctant hero that is banished to a life of personal abandoment. The hero seems like a far greater underdog this go around as Spider-Man must deal with a much tougher villian while Peter Parker tries to put his life back together. I liked the fact that Raimi balanced out the film's jaw-dropping effects with some emotional character depth. There is a good mixture of storytelling and cinematic style here. Raimi also improved on the dialouge here. There are some comedic moments but the rivalry between Spidey and Doc Ock doesn't elevate itself to the level of cheesy line-trading that went on between Maguire and Dafoe in the first.
The performances are really what seperates this one from its predecassor. Tobey Maguire is given a lot more to do, this time around. While Molina doesn't have the same charisma as Dafoe, his villian is far more menacing. Kirsten Dunst is given a somewhat smaller role here but it serves its purpose. My one complaint is that Mary Jane doesn't really look the same in this one. In the first movie, she had a much different look to her than most of the characters that Dunst has portrayed. Here, she doesn't carry herself the same way. It doesn't really take anything away from the film but it is somewhat noticeable whether intended or not. There are a good deal of amusing cameo appearances here as well but I'm not gonna spoil them for you.
"Spider Man 2" is not just one of the better sequels I've seen in awhile but also one of the best films of its kind that I've seen at the movies in some time. I can't remember the last time that I went into a movie theatre and was entertained on so many levels the way that I was with this film. Maybe low expectations might have played a part in it but in all honesty, I doubt it. No matter what your preconceived notion of this movie is, you will probably be drawn in just the same. You don't have to be a comic book fan or even a fan of the first movie to enjoy but it certainly doesn't hurt things. (Review: ****1/2)
I have to start by saying I'm fairly biased about this film. The original was one of my favorite movies, and I grew up reading the comics religiously. That being said, I do feel I would be able to give it an unbiased review if I didn't like it, but thankfully, that was not the case.
Spider-Man 2 is Sam Raimi at his best. I've never been in a theater where I've felt an audience have so much fun at a movie. This film had everything: incredible special effects, great dialogue, romantic themes, plenty of action, and some decent acting. When I first saw the trailer for the film, I thought the special effects looked a bit shoddy, but the final release was amazing. Everything was seamless, and the attention to detail was very noticeable. One of the best parts aspects of this film is the comedic elements. I didn't expect to laugh going into Spider-Man 2, but it pleasantly surprised me and I found it more humorous than most comedies. The humor is very subtle and some of it is campy, but doesn't come off poorly. It's great watching Parker trying to deliver pizzas in his costume to meet a deadline, or being forced to use an elevator and make small talk with the other occupant. Raimi fans will also be pleased with a few Evil Dead II references, and one 30 second scene in a hospital realy stood out and showcased his talent for the horror genre.
Raimi captures the essence of Parker so much more closely in this film. The Parker in this film is given a closer focus on the fact that he still experiences much of the flaws that every other New Yorker has to go through. From having to live in a run down apartment, to never having any money. Too many Super heroes come from wealthy backgrounds and have an unlimited supply of money, but Spider-Man is just a below-average teenager who's given an incredible ability. And this is why he's so identifiable and likeable to the audience. As I said, Raimi does an incredible job of showing this and I couldn't believe how closely the film version of Parker matched the bumbling science nerd I grew up with in the comics. In addition, comics fans will love this film for all of the hidden references that are stacked in the movie. There's a cameo of creator Stan Lee, a photographic reference to a famous comic panel of Spidey taking of his mask, oft-quoted lines from the book, and Dr. Connors and John Jameson appear, who feature into the comic very prominently.
It does have a few faults, albeit they're hard to notice. I found that some of Maguire's lines came off a bit forced, which I noticed in the first film. Franko is also a little stiff as Harry Osborne. I didn't notice any bad acting, but nothing I would consider Academy-worthy either. There was also a subplot about a physical problem with Parker that felt out of place in the film and wasn't developed very well. But it made for some really incredible scenes that I wouldn't want removed.
Overall, this is one of the best films I've seen in a long while, and accomplishes that rare feat of surpassing the original. There were two or three specific events at the end of the movie that really blew me away and that I wasn't expecting, and will make for some very interesting sequels. As a long-time Spider-Man fan, I can definitely say this movie is very fulfilling, and I would recommend it to audiences of any age and type.
on July 11, 2004
I enjoyed the first Spider-man movie a lot... I tend to like comic book movies (though I have never read a comic book in my life - yet) and it was definitely one of the better ones I've seen. Spider-man 2 picks up a year or so after the first one left off - he's in love with Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst), but can't be with her as he fears his enemies will hurt her to get at him. His best friend, Harry Osborn (James Franco), is suffering and mourning the loss of his father - who he knows died at the hands of Spider-man (his father was the "Green Goblin" and the bad guy in the first Spider-man movie). He is also suffering in school and at work because he spends so much time saving the city, he can't get to class on time. His Aunt Mae is still mourning the loss of her husband, Peter's Uncle Ben.
During the first part of the movie, one of Peter's scientist heroes, Dr. Otto Octavious (Alfred Molina), is working on a fusion experiment with Harry Osborn's corporation that he hopes will change the world. At the demonstration, however, things of course go horribly wrong and Octavious ends up with four mechanical arms stuck to him and the chip that "controls" their artificial intelligence breaks - so they have a mind of their own and begin to control him. "Doc Ock" begins trying to rebuild his fusion machine (which could destroy half of New York City) and Spider-man sets out to stop him.
Spider-man 2 spent a lot more time on character development than you normally see in a comic book/action movie. You really feel Peter's pain as he struggles to balance being a super hero with being a regular guy. You really feel for him, wanting so badly to be with Mary Jane, but knowing if he acts on his desires, he is knowingly putting her in harm's way. Poor Aunt Mae is struggling still with the loss of her beloved husband and dealing with the financial aftermath his death has caused for her. The characters and conflicts are so believable, despite the inate silliness that comes from being a comic book movie.
The acting is superb as well, all the lead actors are phenomical and perfectly cast. One of the greatest characters is J.J. Jameson (J.K. Simmons) who is Peter's boss at the Daily Bugle. He absolutely nails the character and is hilarious throughout the movie. Another thing the movie did really well was be funny, despite all the angst and conflict going on. The "elevator scene" in particular was hysterical, as well as the scene with Peter at the laundromat. I won't go in to detail so I don't ruin it, but suffice to say - they were funny scenes!
Action scenes were once again spectacular - with amazing CGI that was a lot less obvious this time around. My one complaint would be there was a little TOO much time spent on character development and not enough action. The action scenes were just phenominal - I really wanted to see more! There was also quite a lot of subtle foreshadowing, indicating a Spider-man 3. Many future villians were introduced that most people wouldn't recognize unless they were fans of the comic. Fortunately I had plenty of comic book loving friends with me. Some hints - MJ's astronaut fiance, Peter's professor and Harry Osborn - all future bad guys in the comic books. ;)
Peter Parker nearly forgets that when due to several crises occurring in his already hectic life, he chucks the famed red suit and mask in a dumpster. "I am Spiderman no more," he declares. Indeed, his hectic life is divided going to college, working as a pizza delivery boy, trying to get enough money to pay his long overdue rent, and fighting crime as his alter-ego. The trouble is, he doesn't have much of a life as a result. He's so stressed, he even forgets it's his birthday, and hasn't been in contact with his friend Harry Osborn, still grieving over the death of his father in the first Spiderman and still seeking vengeance on Spiderman, and with Mary Jane, acting in The Importance Of Being Earnest. Unfortunately, an act of crime fighting causes him to be late for the play, disappointing the already beleaguered MJ, who announces that she is seeing someone. That someone turns out to be the son of The Daily Bugle's J. Jonah Jameson, the egomaniac tabloid editor who still treats Parker like dirt beneath his shoes and prides himself on wanting to drive Spidey out of business.
This installment has Spidey fighting Dr. Octopus, the former Otto Octavius, a scientist whose attempts to create a new kind of fusion technology that would yield cheap energy or make Manhattan toast with enough for a side of eggs result in an accident where the artificial nervous system with four shiny metallic tentacles become fused to his body. Unfortunately, the chip that gives him control of his mind is destroyed, turning him into a villain who wants to restart the fusion experiment that failed. And for that, he turns to crime, his appearance heralded by the same pounding footsteps reminiscent of a T-Rex in Jurassic Park or Godzilla in Godzilla (1998). But Octavius isn't a clear cut villain, but a victim of circumstance, like Mr. Freeze in the fourth Batman. Before his transformation, he's a genius, but also a loving husband to his wife. He tells Peter Parker that knowledge is a privilege, but also not to suppress the love one feels for someone
It seems that Parker is happy to no longer be the webslinger. His grades improve, he makes an effort to have a life, and his less-stressed look yields a smile on his face, evident in a series of shots with B.J. Thomas's "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head" playing. But the question is this. As his late Uncle Ben told him, he had a special gift, and with that gift, moral responsibility. His wishes to have a normal quiet life, to win back MJ, are overshadowed by his moral responsibility because he is denying himself his potential, or the importance of being earnest, namely being Spiderman. Loving MJ is impossible, because saving other people takes precedence, plus she would be his Achilles heel. All his enemies have to do is take her hostage to gain an edge over him. And more to the point, with Spidey out of the way, Dr. Octopus and other criminals have a free-for-all.
Tobey MacGuire fits snugly in the role of Parker as Parker does in the Spidey costume, someone's who quite appealing, sympathetic, and sensitive, a guy trying to juggle many priorities. From Indiana Jones's treacherous assistant in Raiders Of The Lost Ark, Joe Orton's lover and murderer in Prick Up Your Ears, the religious mayor of the provincial town in Chocolat, and Diego Rivera in Frida, Dr. Octavius demonstrates another interesting role for the versatile Alfred Molina. The real surprise here is Kirsten Dunst, who has never been more appealing than here instead of just being another pretty face. And yes, there is another Stan Lee cameo, but you better look quick aboard a runaway train.
Spiderman 2 surprised me by being better than expected and the special effects, which I normally deem a secondary consideration, are superior. There's a very human story beneath, and as a result, I deem it the best superhero movie I've seen since Superman.
on July 2, 2004
"I believe there is a hero in all of us. That keeps us honest. Gives us strength. Makes us noble."
- Aunt May gives her nephew a clue on how to deal with his secret arachnid problem in "Spider-Man 2"
The best comic book movie ever. Ever.
The saga of Peter Parker and his alter ego, Spider-Man, continues as Parker has to deal with losing one of his two jobs, slipping grades (web-swinging at night is not a form of studying), a Russian landlord, Harry Osborn's drunken revenge on Spider-Man, and, worst of all, his life long crush, Mary Jane Watson, announces she's engaged to an astronaut that, adding insult to injury, is the son of J. Jonah Jameson, New York's tighest tight wad, publisher of the cities paper "The Daily Bugle", and Peter's boss. When Peter gives up being Spider-Man (thats after losing his web making abilities from psychological stress), things go from bad to worse as a new nemisis rises in the form of the six-armed mad scientist Otto Octavious.
Man, think you've had a bad day?!
"Spider-Man 2" is easily one of the best sequels made (right up there with "The Godfather II", The Empire Strikes Back", "Aliens", & "Terminator 2"). Sam Raimi's direction is at his best (yeah, that includes "A Simple Plan" & "The Evil Dead" films) and, again takes extreme care of bringing the comic book storyline to life.
The cast is back and is in great form (it was also great to see cameos from Cliff Robertson & Willem Dafoe). You could almost peel the angst & heartache from Peter Parker right off the screen!
The action sequences are instant classics, especially, the bank robbery scene & the subway car battle.
I could go on all day, but, go see this movie - NOW.
One other thing - three words...
Venom. Summer. 2007.
**It's been almost 3 long years since "Spider-Man 2" hit theaters & with the third installment less than a month away, Sony has decided to re-release "S-M 2" in a "2.1" version with 8 minutes of additional footage. Is it worth the upgrade? In simple terms - No. There are a couple of bits & pieces of fight scenes inserted back into the film, a scene between Mary Jane & her best friend that slows the movie down (MJ's best friend is actress Vanessa Ferlito who plays Butterfly in "Death Proof", the second film of "Grindhouse"), & a few other alternate or extended takes. The bonus disc is nothing short of delving too deeply into the visual effects aspect of the film (it goes to the point of boredom). If you can get this for under ten bucks, like I did, you will happy.**
on May 7, 2007
SPIDER-MAN 2 is one of the best movies ever, in my opinion--lots of heart, great characters, great writing, great action, great moral to the story, great performances and special effects! So I am a little disappointed with this 2007 DVD release of the 2.1 version.
This review is for the 2.1 DVD version of SPIDER-MAN 2. It is INFERIOR to the original DVD/theaterical version because the 8 minutes of new footage often REPLACES original scenes, (not just adds new footage), and the replaced footage is always best the original way!
The new footage rates okay to great, as long as it does not replace any original scenes, in my opinion. So this 2.1 version of SPIDER-MAN 2 is interesting, if you really know the original version, then you can try to catch what is different. Sometimes it is just an added line of dialogue, sometimes it is a complete scene. This is all good until they start pulling out the original scenes choices and replace it with this "new" footage. The original scenes were better.
I think they also monkeyed with the timing of many scenes, which now feel too rushed.
The best stuff on this 2.1 DVD is the ADDED stuff (not the REPLACEMENT stuff). You get a scene with MJ talking with her friend about marrying the astronaut, and the perfect kiss from her fantasy man (as seen in SPIDER-MAN 1, and referenced again in SPIDER-MAN 3). There is a brief scene when J. Jonah Jameson puts on the found Spider-man costume and pretends in his office. There are 11 extra seconds of the Doc Ock fight with Aunt May at stake, where Spidey and Doc Ock break through a window and pound on each other while a woman watches in fear.
There are also many more brief additions of minor dialogue and brief footage. My favorite is when they first show Peter Parker hanging his tired head in his dumpy apartment. In the original version the scene stops there--depressing surroundings, but in the 2.1 version, they briefly end the scene with Peter reaching to turn on his police scanner radio, to monitor for some criminal action for Spidey to get busy with! This changes the tone of the scene immensely, in that being Spider-man is saving him from the dreariness! I like the added police scanner shot, and it also appears again, more often, in SPIDER-MAN 3! Cool!
A strange piece of dialogue added is when MJ and Peter are talking in Aunt May's backyard, and MJ says she is seeing someone now. In the original, Peter asks if it is like a boyfriend, but in the 2.1 version, first he asks if it is therapy, then he asks if it is a boyfriend. This is cool because you get more without losing the original, though it is a strange comment!
Sometimes things seem rushed and the timing is off, or small, little things are replaced.
A major scene that ANYBODY will recognize as being completely REPLACED (and not as good as the original) is the scene on the elevator, when Spider-man meets the guy walking his dog. This is a completely different conversation, more dumb than funny, and you completely lose the original conversation which actually was funny.
The Director's Commentary is with producer Laura Ziskin and writer Alvin Sargent. (NOTE: Kirsten Dunst in NOT included in the Director's Commentary, though some information online says she is). This Director's Commentary is pretty interesting, with some fun trivia and insight into the writing and production, despite the absence of the actual director and any actor from the film.
The bonus disk is okay. Not too long, not too short. If you like Making Of documentary stuff, then here is about an hour's worth.
If you have never seen SPIDER-MAN 2, then get the original version on DVD before getting this 2.1 version! But, if you already own and love the original version, then get this 2.1 version and watch it with a friend, and have fun pointing out and finding the new stuff.
on April 5, 2007
Like many skeptics I approached this dvd with great caution. I thought this is another sales gimmick. 8 minutes. Big Deal. I managed to get my hands on a region 3 disc and thought I was going to waste 2 hours of my time. But being a Spidey fan I thought what the heck.
I was wrong. Dead Wrong. This is a whole new movie. All the scenes are totally reworked. The fight scenes are longer and more violent (that is great). The added scenes to the movie actually improves on the theater version. I guess Sam Raimi had a look at his movie and said hey why don't we do that scene we had done in a new way... The closest thing I have ever come across something like this is the Teddy Rawling's Alien 3 Cut. It is a whole new cut and elevates the original movie. Sure it is 8 minutes longer but nearly all the scenes are woven together from a different cut.
The most obvious is the elevator scene. Here the guy who is stuck in the elevator actually knew he was talking to the real spidey. The original cut features him speaking about the spidey outfit to someone he thought was an impostor. Here the elevator guy wanted to sell his marketing plan to the real spidey.
Another example is the first fight with Doc Oct. The extended version shows the fight taking place from the high rise buildings and continues inside an office. It is more violent and more dramatic. The operating scene where Doc Oct was introduce is remade to look like a scene from the "Evil Dead". I have not dwell into the features yet.
I hope this convinces you as much as it convinced me that the Spiderman series is one with its intergrity in tact. I won't tell you more and save the rest for you to find out and savour. But trust me buy this, this is the best thing that came out since Lord of the Rings (Extended, Superman 2 (Richard Donner's Cut), Daredevil (Director's Cut) and Kingdom of Heaven (Director's Cut). This is a great piece of work!
on April 26, 2007
We all know how great Spiderman 2 was, it included one of the classic villains from the comic in an excellent adaptation of the original story delivering a movie that was indeed better than the first one. So I will base this review on the extra scenes and the DVD specs and not the movie itself.
This one includes the movie with 8 minutes of bonus footage, this footage is not shown separately as `deleted scenes', instead, the scenes were added to the movie so we can consider this an extended edition of the film.
- Peter's birthday party is extended. Here, we see Peter and Harry going over Harry's issues with Spidey and the death of his father.
- The elevator scene in which Spidey talked about his costume was replaced with another that I personally didn't like, the new one feels awkward and not as spontaneous as the original.
- MJ at the shoe store. Mary Jane talks about love and the kiss she got from Spidey with a friend.
- Two fight sequences are extended; in the one in which Dr. Octopus takes aunt May hostage, a new bit in which they both crash into an office through the window and fight inside was added. Also, the train sequence has new bits of Spidey and Dr Octopus fighting while hanging besides the train.
- Jonah Jameson wears the Spiderman suit while the staff looks amazed, a quite silly scene that I understand why it was originally removed.
Bottom-line, the extra 8 minutes do not add anything to the movie; they are tiny bits that were originally removed for a reason. If you are a Spiderman fan and a collector you can get this for a very decent price, if you liked the original and expect to see major changes, the 2.1 version will only disappoint you.
The movie includes a trivia track with a lot of information about the comics, the actors and the movie itself; if activated, it will also show you behind the scenes during the movie. The movie screen will be minimized in the lower left corner to show the behind the scene footage in the full screen. Presented in English, French and Spanish (all three in Dolby Digital 5.1) and subtitled in the same three languages. It includes also an audio commentary by Laura Ziskin & Kirsten Dunst.
The features included here are more oriented to promoting the third movie of the hero. There is a sneak peek for the "Spider-Man 3" movie, which is basically the same scenes from the original trailer plus some interviews with the cast. I rather watch the last trailer for the movie but that one is not included here.
There is a `Inside 2.1 Featurette' that describes the process of completion of the scenes, ironically the last comment in this featurette says that `the movie the people will remember will be Spiderman 2 and not the 2.1 version'
Another preview for the video game is also here, but when you see it you'll see that it was added just to justify more features in the disc. Also, a look at Danny Elfman composing the music for the Spiderman saga is shown as part of the special features.
on July 25, 2004
"Ladies and gentlemen, fasten your seat belts."
Spider-Man 2 was everything a comic book movie should be. From the opening credits, which were done cleverly by using comic stills to explain the events of the first film, to the closing credits, I sat in the jam packed sold out movie theater mesmerized as Sam Raimi flawlessly put together the definitive comic book movie.
To begin with, I enjoyed this movie more than the first one in every category. I felt more characterization. I could relate with Parker's emotions on a higher level than the first movie. Also, all of the other characters put on better acting performances than the previous installment. The overall plot, I felt, was better too. This time, the plot surrounded Peter Parker, played by Toby Maguire, going through the days with his ongoing struggle as he leads on a double life. He has no time for his friends, his school work; he's even on the brink of being fired from his job of a pizza delivery boy. Meanwhile, he wants his relationship with Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst) to grow, but he has never made a move, because he can't, being Spider-Man and all. Harry Osbourne, played by James Franco, continues to be friends with Peter, but has an ongoing growing hatred for the man that killed his father, Spider-Man. From there, we meet Dr. Otto Octavious, a good hearted scientist that wants to create a new type of fusion energy. At the same time, he has created four mechanical arms, able to work with the reaction which he straps onto his body. With the use of trillium, supplied by OsCorp, Dr. Otto Octavious attempts this fusion process. However, things take a horrific turn for the worse when the reaction gets out of control and leaves Dr. Octavious victim to an explosion that leaves the mechanical arms welded to his body. Thus, Dr. Octopus, or Doc Ock as they call him, is born. From there, the movie becomes a dazzling spectacle of directing at its finest. Despite the action sequences being amazing, Sam Raimi does a magnificent job of making them believable, and not overdoing them either. There is still a lot of focus on Peter Parker, which makes this the most accurate and best comic book adaptation to date.
Although I liked the first Spider-Man, I felt the acting was a little dry, and there wasn't as much onscreen chemistry between Toby Maguire and Kirsten Dunst. This, however, is all fixed in Spider-Man 2. Toby Maguire is now an even more believable Peter Parker, and Kirsten Dunst is great as Mary Jane. Also, the two of them seemed to click onscreen, as they seem to work so well together. Willem Dafoe was great as the Green Goblin in the first Spider-Man, yet I felt that Alfred Molina was even greater as Dr. Octopus in this one.
Growing up and watching the corny Spider-Man television cartoon on Fox Kids, Dr. Octopus has always been my favorite villain in the series. I imagined the fantastic possibilities of the use of the mechanical arms in combat, and while I felt my thoughts were creative, the fight scenes in this movie were better than I could have imagined. An amazing combat sequence atop a speeding train is among my favorite sequences, but there are others, and I won't go into detail of them. I can tell you though, I was very pleased.
It seems director Sam Raimi has hit a homerun with this one. Improving upon the first installment in every category, it seems Sam Raimi has finally found his groove. The film sets up a third installment, and all I can say is that I literally can't wait. I hear May 2007 is the tentative date of release. Overall, Spider-Man 2 combines everything that a comic book movie should be to create an exhilarating ride that shouldn't be missed by any movie watcher. Much recommended.
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on July 10, 2004
I just got back from seeing "Spider-Man 2". I have to say that it definitely blows away the first film although the first film was wonderful. In the first film, we see how Peter Parker becomes Spider-Man. In the sequel, Peter Parker is struggling to balance his life as a college student, a freelancing photographer, a pizza delivery guy, a nephew, and a friend all at the same time. It is a constant, neverending battle for Peter Parker. Eventually Peter succumbs to his doubts as a superhero and whether the sacrifice is worth it. That in itself was well written out and the writers did an excellent job at fleshing out the true essence of the comic book Peter Parker and bringing him out in actor Tobey McGuire however director Sam Raimi gets full credit for keeping faithful to who the characters are from the comic book pages to the big screen. Alfred Molina as Dr. Octopus was the best casting job. Alfred's portrayal as the brilliant physicist turned psychopath was one of the best performances I have seen from Alfred. The most chilling scene from Molina in the film was when Dr.Octopus woke up in the hospital. That entire scene in general was rather intense and brutal to say the very least. Tobey McGuire and Kirsten Dunst were wonderful as their perspective characters but I have to say Alfred Molina was the highlight of the blockbuster smash for me. I also loved the brief cameos made by QAF's Hal Sparks, Bruce Campbell, and Sam's younger brother Ted Raimi (who played Joxer on "Xena: Warrior Princess"). The special effects were amazing although there were moments that just screamed "I am the cheese" because I could easily tell that they were computer generated. It is rare to see a comic book turned into a movie that is so well written. Sam Raimi stayed true to the essence of the "Spider-Man" series.