Films featuring
Tobey Maguire

Spider-Man 3

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While I would never knowingly recommend either of the two Joel Schumacher Batman movies to you, gentle readers, I think either of these two brain-dead cinematic exercises would be instructive to those responsible for Spider-Man 3. It could have helped them avoid that dread affliction known as elephantiasis of your villain roster. It’s what happens when you have three (or more) antagonists for your comic book hero to fight, fatally diluting the threat that any one of them poses. A quick review of Superman Returns might have also warned them of the dangers of dwelling too much on your hero’s girl troubles. Yes, Peter Parker’s relationship with Mary Jane is major part of the Spider-Man mythos, but there is such a thing as balance and this movie does not achieve it.

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The Good German

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Steven Soderbergh’s latest experiment is a clear triumph of style and technique over coherence and content. The Good German is admirable as a successful attempt to revive some lost techniques of filmmaking. Sadly, the less than clear storyline and shallow characters squander what could have been an intriguing exercise in resurrecting some of the great traditions of classic Hollywood. It’s still interesting to look at but after the stylistic novelty wears off, you’ll find yourself checking your watch regularly.

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Spider-Man 2

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Now’s not a bad time to be a fan of comic book movies, as long as you forget Fantastic Four ever existed, which by itself is not a bad idea. We currently have three well-executed comic-based franchises in full swing: the X-Men, the Christian Bale version of Batman and Spider-Man. With X-Men helmer Bryan Singer also directing the new Superman movie, there is going reason to hope that we will soon have a fourth.

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