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Spider-Man (2002)
Rated: PG13
Stylzed violence and action
Video/DVD - COLUMBIA TRISTAR, 121 Minutes

Director: Sam Raimi

Starring: Tobey Maguire, Willem Dafoe, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Cliff Robertson

Visit Spider-Man's official site HERE
The Bean Counter: 2 1/2 beans out of 5

As I didn't see this movie in the theatres, and am a huge Sam Raimi fan, I wanted to see if the movie lived up to the hype. So I rented the newly released Spider-Man Widescreen Special Edition DVD and was treated to a big-budget adaptation that was true to the original spirit of the comic book.

The first half of the movie resonated with my inner geek, with Tobey Maguire's nerdy Peter Parker suffering stoically through his high-school years then by chance gaining superhuman strength, agility, and perception after the infamous radioactive spider bite, altered to fit our times by being a genetically altered spider's bite. He's transformed into a teenager with no idea of how to be a hero.

At first he uses his new abilities for material gain to impress the girl of his dreams with tragic results, indirectly causing the death of someone he cares deeply about. Inspired by the words of his uncle, "With great power comes great responsibility", he devotes himself to fighting crime as the superhero Spider-Man.

His long standing secret love for the girl next door, Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst), adds a sweet but cheesy element to the story. However, it's Willem Dafoe's Green Goblin that takes the movie over the edge into fromage-land, as Spider-Man's generic arch enemy.

This movie appeals to younger viewers with good reason. Some of the CGI action sequences looked artificial and the extras on the DVD were more hype than insight
, but I did enjoy Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst's portrayals of Peter and Mary Jane. As Amazon.com says: "a great movie for comic hero buffs, adventure movie watchers, and not-so-young kids." 2 1/2 Beans

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