Thursday Night Movie Club
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Release Date: 11 November 2016

Director: Sam Raimi
Tobey Maguire
Willem Dafoe
Kirsten Dunst
James Franco
Cliff Robertson
Rosemary Harris
J.K. Simmons
Joe Manganiello
Gerry Becker
Bill Nunn
Jack Betts
Stanley Anderson
Ron Perkins
Michael Papajohn
K.K. Dodds
Spider-Man/Peter Parker
Green Goblin/Norman Osborn
Mary Jane Watson
Harry Osborn
Uncle Ben
Aunt May
J. Jonah Jameson
Flash Thompson
Maximilian Fargas
Joseph 'Robbie' Robertson
Henry Balkan
Gen. Slocum
Dr. Mendell Stromm
Ellie Simkins
Spider-Man movie poster Spider-Man movie poster Spider-Man movie poster
Click on the photo of Spider-Man to link to the official Spider-Man 2 website.Spider-Man could just be the best comic book turned into a movie ever made! Thanks to the recent improvements with digital effects, Spider-Man jumps off the screen.

This is mainly due to the main character, Peter Parker/Spider-Man. Parker is not an indestructible alien from another planet, nor is he extremely rich so he can build fancy gadgets to assist his crime fighting. Peter is a high school nerd. He is at the top of his high school senior class, but he just doesn't fit in. He is a lot like most of us going through similar growing pains. His only supporter is his Uncle Ben. He has only one other friend, Harry Osborn, who has problems of his own being the only son of millionaire businessman, Norman Osborn.

During a field trip, Peter is bitten by a genetically-altered spider giving him amazing powers. He becomes immensely strong. He can cling to walls and he can even spin his own webs (a departure from the comic where Peter built his own web-shooters). Add this to your typical high schooler's growing pains and Peter is in for a rough time trying to figure out who he has become.

But the joys of discovery are soon tarnished by a terrible tragedy that will further define Peter. Peter has deceived his uncle. Rather than going to a library to study, Peter has gone to a local wrestling match to try to earn some money so he can impress the "girl next door", Mary Jane Watson. Peter fails to stop a robber at the event because it is not his problem. It soon becomes his problem. The robber goes on to murder gentle Uncle Ben. Peter decides his true calling is to fight crime so others don't have to suffer at the hands of criminals.

Click on the photo of the Green Goblin to link to the official Spider-Man 2 website.But where would a super hero be without his arch enemy. All is not well with Norman Osborn's business empire. His attempts to create a flying weapon with a specially modified pilot have failed. In a last ditch effort, Osborn decides to experiment on himself. He gains super strength and agility, but he also goes quite mad. As the Green Goblin, Osborn mercilessly kills the Board of Directors of Oscorp who want to sell the company to a competitor. During the melee at The World Unity Fair, Spider-Man rescues his number one fan from the Green Goblin, none other than Mary Jane Watson.

Spider-Man continues to save Mary Jane from harm and a love affair begins. Just Peter's luck. Mary Jane is falling for Spider-Man and not him. As a comic book hero, Peter's life is the most complex. He is just a kid given amazing powers. But with these powers comes great responsibility. Peter cannot reveal himself to others for fear that he will be putting their lives in danger. He tries to become secretive to his friends and family, but Osborn accidentally figures out his secret, which sets up the final conflict atop the Brooklyn Bridge.

This is a stellar cast! Tobey Maguire is good in the dual roles of Peter/Spider-Man. Unfortunately, the writers don't give Spider-Man the cockiness of the comic book character. Spider-Man's lines should have been funnier, more insulting. Willem Dafoe is quite menacing as the maniacal Green Goblin and the torn father figure. Cliff Robertson is an excellent choice for Ben Parker. Rosemary Harris brings a lot of life to the widowed, May Parker, who must now raise Peter alone. But the best acting goes to J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson, the local newspaper publisher/tycoon. Simmons goes to town as the multi-tasking boss who hires Peter to take photos of Spider-Man, an easy task for Peter.

Click on the photo of Spider-Man and Mary Jane Watson to link to the official Spider-Man 2 website.Sam Raimi is a perfect choice to bring the wall-crawler to the big screen. The digital effects and his camera moves show what it is like to be Spider-Man. It wouldn't be a Sam Raimi movie without a few cameos: Bruce Campbell, Lucy Lawless and brother Ted.

The movie does take on a rather gruesome tone during the final encounter between Spider-Man and The Green Goblin, but the web-spinner can take a licking and still defeat his foe.

There are enough conflicts developed between all of the main characters that warrant sequels to really flesh out the characters. As with the first installment of most comic book movies, Spider-Man takes a lot of time introducing/developing the characters. But all of this is executed to near perfection.

Very enjoyable and worth many repeat viewings.