Spider-Man 3: Girls Talk
by Lillian Baker and Martha Thomases
We went to see Spider-Man 3 on Sunday afternoon in the East Village. Even though it was dinner-time, the movie theater was full. “We” are Lillian Baker, age 8, and Martha Thomases, age 54. Here’s what we thought. Beware of spoilers.
MT: I enjoyed myself in the theater, although there were some draggy parts. To me, the best part of the Spider-Man films is the way New Yorkers claim Spider-Man as one of their own. He’s a home-town boy.
LB: At the end, you find out that Venom doesn’t like sounds.
MT: Venom was a strange villain. When Peter Parker wore the black suit, it changed his personality. When Eddie Brock was infected, it changed his teeth.
LB: I guess that’s because he was wearing a costume. The other guy didn’t have a mask on to cover his teeth.
MT: The friendship between Peter and Mary Jane and Harry was wonderful. I thought it felt like a lot of relationships that last through different parts of your life. I was glad Harry redeemed himself.
LB: I really liked that Venom guy. He didn’t last very long.
MT: It seems to me that New York City isn’t a good place for a creature that doesn’t like loud noises.
LB: I agree with that. The girl was screaming and that was a loud noise. I just don’t get it.
MT: Maybe only certain kinds of loud noise bother him. But a construction site would seem to have them all. It looked like the Time Warner Center.
LB: In this movie, you also find out that Sandman killed Uncle Ben.
MT: Thomas Haden Church is a great actor, and he did what he could with the part, but I thought he was the least developed character. The effects were great, and he has a wonderful face, but we didn’t really need him to tell this story. The real story, to me, was about using your childhood experiences as a grown-up. Peter works through his inner nerd, Mary Jane has to deal with criticism that’s not her father’s abuse, and Harry has to decide if he’s his father’s son or his friends’ ally. They could each star in a different movie about the same events, from different points of view.
LB: I really liked the part where he comes out of the store in those new clothes and starts dancing.
MT: Did you ever see the movie Saturday Night Fever? It reminded me of the beginning of that, when the star walks down the street. Have you ever seen anyone walk down the street like that anywhere in New York?
MT: Peter Parker seems to live in your neighborhood, the East Village. Are there a lot of photographers near you?
LB: My daddy (cartoonist Kyle Baker) has an office and he has a lot of photographers in the office next to him.
MT: I bet they don’t have to use pay phones like Peter does. That must be the last working coin-operated phone on the planet.
LB: It was really cool when the Sandman got wet.
MT: Getting wet let him get bigger, I think. He could absorb cinder blocks and stuff besides just sand. Is there something you would like to see happen next?
LB: Yeah. I think that, in the movie, the Sandman should threaten the children playing in the sandbox by saying, “I need your parents money. If they don’t give me it, I’m going to suck out all the sand from your sandbox!” That would be a funny part, wouldn’t it?
MT: I’ve found some really disgusting things in New York sandboxes. Sandman would be safer to play inside.
(Artwork copyright 2007 Lillian Baker. All Rights Reserved.)