Monday, May 14, 2007

spider man 3 (the bootleg)

Somewhere in Asia, if subtitles are any indication, and not too long ago, in a small, mostly empty theatre, Spider Man 3 took to the big screen.

The art of bootlegging is not in the steady camera work or the front and center selection of a seat, as our particular bootlegger needed no arm-twisting to be convinced. No, the art of bootlegging emerges from the rare glimpse it gives us into the intersection of third world theatres with Hoolywood filmmaking with small technological gagetry with cutting edge concealiatory techniques.

It all gets very complicated and technical from there, but the real professoinals are doing unbelievable work with simple fabrics that can make a small camcorder instanstantly transform into the facade of a bunched up jacket innocently resting in a patrons lap. Think of Frodo's cloak, only you definately can't see through it quite as well as Frodo could see through his. And Frodo's cloak made him look like a rock. This is more like a cloak that looks like a jacket making a camera look like a crumpled or piled up jacket, but with nearly the same illuding effect.

It's pretty hard to see anything through the jacket.

The few patrons all sat in the front row. They were constantly getting up and walking in front of the screen to the bathrooms. They were using the john like they already knew if they missed anything good they could more than likely pick up the bootleg of their silouette and anything they missed the next day for pennies on the dollar.

Spider Man was disappointing enough for me that by the end of the movie I was more than ready for the after-credits security discovery of the bootlegger, the chase scene from the theatre to a get away car, and the suspense of whether or not the bad guy has a chance when the good guys are less like super heroes and more realistically like theatre ticket attendants. I imagined something like the episodes of COPS: Life On The Beat where the drunk guy suddenly turns on the camera man before the COPS can hold him back. Unfortunately, the bootlegger exercised his artistic license and just turned the camera off before anything could heat up.

The movie within the movie (I'm talking about Spider Man 3 itself now, for those of you who haven't read Plato), besides being literally off center and crooked, also had a mediocre script. The storyline surrounding the action scenes seemed much more haphazardly constructed to frame the action in the emotional drama that we expect from an epic. But it's hard to be thoroughly convinced in the conversion of two super-villains within a day's work for Spider Man. I'll grant the web slinging and the super-human strength, but converting villains from evil to Good? I've been to third street in Santa Monica. I've spent plenty of nights trying to convert people, and ordinary moral people, from evil to good. You would think it would be easy. But believe me, it takes more than a little chemistry-altering spider bite for endowment with that gift.

I'm just saying, if the multi-billion dollar film industry of the modern moral compass can't keep a common bootlegger and a good Chirstian kid in Iraq from straying off the straight and narrow, what makes the script writer think that Spiderman can morally transform two super-villians into well-meaning citizens you might expect to be nominated as deacons down at the local Church?

That's about as likely as an after credits chase scene where the bootlegger suddenly sees the light and gives himself up to the ticket attendant in thick glasses. If you're watching a bootlegged DVD and the bootlegger is giving up his bootleg ways, that's when you'll know bootlegging has become just another sell out of what could have been real cinema.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

that's why a lot of fans are expecting Guillermo del Toro (pan's labyrinth) for directing Spiderman 4

9:58 PM  

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