May 6, 2002 – If "Spider-Man" can't do it, it probably doesn't need to be done. And he has certainly done it at the box office, the first movie to hit $114 million in its first weekend, according to news reports. (The previous high was a measly $90.3 million, set by "Harry Potter.")
The movie has won over even those stern critics who could hardly be expected to be wowed by a comic-book character. Eleanor Ringel Gillespie of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is so enamored, she refers to Spider-Man (Tobey Maguire) as "Spidey." And she calls Maguire's acting "flat-out terrific."
Lots of folks wondered what the sensitive young man from "The Ice Storm" and "The Cider House Rules" was doing as a Marvel Comics character. Those same folks probably haven't seen Maguire in "The Wonder Boys," where, as a precocious, quirky college kid he attaches himself to his pot-smoking professor, Michael Douglas, and the two — with the help of an ill-fated dog — bound through reels of celluloid leaving (at least this audience) rolling in the aisles.
For those of us not up on our Marvel comics, "Spider-Man" is really Peter Parker, a shy and awkward, although bright, young man who lives with his Aunt Mary and Uncle Ben after the death of his parents when he was very young. Well, one day he gets bitten by … yes, a spider, and the very web of his existence changes. Pardon me. He grows abs, slings webs and climbs buildings in a very comely, black-webbed, bright red jumpsuit. In short, one could safely say, he is a changed man.
Now, what he does with these new-found skills would be giving it away, wouldn't it? You know he will spin around rooftops, scale skyscrapers of course, catch the bad guy and get the girl, or this isn't Marvel Comics and this ain't America. Willem Dafoe, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco and J.K. Simmons round out the leads in this film directed by Sam Raimi. The movie is two hours long and is rated PG-13 for stylized violence and action.
It's playing at Sunny Isle Theaters.
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