Sunday, May 27, 2007

Pirates of the Carribean: At World's End (A Film in Review)

Captain Jack Sparrow returns for another action-packed sea voyage in Pirates of the Carribean: At World's End, the third (and hopefully final) entry in the Pirates of the Carribean saga. I'll just go out and say it, the first Pirates one of the best times I had seeing a movie. Not necessairly because of the content, or even because of Johnny Depp's peformance, but because no one knew what to expect from it. There were no expectations of what the film should be like. Everyone was on the same page when "The Curse of the Black Pearl" opened, and it ended up being one of the most orginal action-films ever made. Outside of Johnny Depp, Pirates of the Carribean had vibe that was distinictly its own, mixing your typical pirate swash-buckler with the supernatural elements found in the Disneyland attractions. Completely fresh and unexpected, Pirates was the surprise hit of the decade. I couldn't wait to see how the sequels were going to turn out.

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Arrrrr! Even ol' trusty Johnny Depp seems bland in this sea voyage. Make him scrub the planks, I say!

Now four years later, I could care less if they make another Pirates movie. It feels exactly like every other piece of Hollywood garbage being produced. There's nothing fresh or new in "At World's End", it feels exactly like the first film, just with an overly dramatic story and a script that's in desperate need of a few rewrites. Who wrote some of this stuff! Who decided that (insert one of the several strange scenarios you'll find in "At World's End" here) was a good idea! Why does this series have to become this grand sweeping adventure epic, when what we loved about the first film was the characters and humor? We didn't flock to see "Curse of the Black Pearl" because of the amazing special effects or the incredibly stretched out sword-fights. We went to go see the first film because it made us laugh! I want Pirates to make me laugh again, I could care less about Davy Jones (Darth Vader) or the West India Trading Company (the Empire) or William Turner and his daddy issues (Luke Skywalker). This isn't Star Wars, this is Pirates of the Carribean! Aka: The Funny Johnny Depp Druken Pirate Adventure

To be quite fair, there were a few things I liked about this movie. The special effects were superb, the acting was reasonably good, and the final battle was really mind blowing. But wait... I think I've seen this movie somewhere before.

*Goffy performance by Johnny Depp: check!
*Constant switching of sides made by crew: check!
*Funny parrot that speaks everyone's mind: check!
*Pirate guy with the funny eye... oh forget it!

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Keira Knightly is cuuuuttteeee in this movie! 0_0 No words can describe.

In other words, everything that's amusing in this film was three times better in the orginal. Save your money and watch "Curse of the Black Pearl" another dozen times. If you've just gotta see how the entire story comes together, then you're probably going to see this anyways. Don't say I didn't try to warn you.

Not a bad movie by any stretch, just a bland and uninspired one. Unless Disney seriously improves their game plan, we're no doubt in for more generic Pirate sequels. Arrrrrrr! Captain Kaleb says: "All carbon copies should walk the plank!" I'm almost begginning to hope this is the "End" of the Pirates franchise.

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RIP: Pirates of the Carribean

It was fun, until you got all serious 'trilogy' on me. I liked you better when you were yourself, not when you were trying to be like big brother 'Star Wars'. Swish down another dozen bottles of rum, an' get back to bein' an ol' drunken sailor you miserable pup!

Rating: C+

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Is There Truly a Soul?

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A question that pops up very rarely in my mind, but one that I find both disturbing and intriguing: Is there really such a thing as a soul? The concept is unproveable, there is no real scientific evidence that suggest such a thing exists. And if it does exist.. what is it exactly? Some people believe it to be the pure esecence of the human being, while others believe it to be the life force that merely sparks the body into motion. Then there are those who choose to believe that the soul is merely a symbol, that all of those life sparks and spirtual feelings of enlightenment are all just linked into our biological structure. There are some rather convincing arguments, and it's really making me think about the subject.

When religion first started sprouting all around this great world of ours, people were trying to find an explanation to why they were here. And more importantly, why do they have the emotions that they do. Emotions that go way beyond that of your average animal. We have feelings that animals do not; we're smarter then the animals. Of course, these people didn't have the modern sciences and techniques that we do, so they invent the concept of the soul. A being inside of us that creates our complex emotions and brain processes, something that would live on long after our human shells would begin to decay. They had no other explanation! They didn't have the technology to know that all of our emotions, fears, and beliefs are all just embeded into our minds. How could they? All they saw was a big lump of grey mass.

All of us need an explanation of the unknown, and when we don't, we begin making up all sorts of things that may merely be speculations. Is this true with spirtis and souls as well? What if when we die, our whole being just ceases to be. Once the brain shuts down, all thoughts and memory of who you were would no longer exist. So does the soul perserve these memories, or do we just pass on with no clue of who we were or where we came from? When we die, is it truly the end? If so... maybe we should live every moment to its fullest, instead of worrying about what will happen when we pass on. I'm not saying that having a spirtual life is a bad thing.. infact it's one of the things I've been trying to improve on within myself. I just find it intriguing just how much we don't know. How much is still a mystery. Where do you think we go when we die?

Mu-Mu-Muh-Make Up Exam!!!!!!!

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Hola, my loyal readers! I haven't been updating my blog much recently, but it's for a good reason. School is offically working me to the bone! Not in a bad way, of course.. but it has been rather exhausting. Lots of homework assignments, tons of terms to hammer down, and at least a few gallons of new concepts poured on top of it all. So right now I'm just going to try and relax.. while lifting a three-way blog update. :) Makin up for lost time, that's what I call it.

There have been a few shockers though. One of them of course being the fact that I... kind of failed my very first test. I'm not sure if any of you know, but I am perhaps one of the world's worst test takers. Getting nervous isn't even the begginning of it.. I start double guessing myself. I ended up flunking what was a pretty basic math test. There was something more to it then just "exam jitters" though. I got a little cocky, and assumed I knew all of the matieral when what I really needed to do was go over it at least a few more times. I started giving my answers in decimal form even though I was supposed to give them in fraction form and.. it just became a mess. One of the big "whooops, I should have payed more attention" moments was when I got the test back and realised that I was only supposed to round to the tenth spot on the 'decimal division' problems. *sigh*

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Luckily, we did have a make-up exam! Nearly half the class failed the exam, so that made me feel a tad-bit better. I was sorta depressed for the couple days before the make-up exam though. Feelings of bitterness aren't common in my day to day life, but I just couldn't help it. It was such a huge change for me, actually having to put all of my heart and soul into something in order to achieve my goals. I'm more used to things being given to me a silver platter :) Not that I'm spolied of course, but I'm used to a more laid-back comfortable kind of living. This has already been a great learning experience for me, but we'll just have to see whether I truly learned anything based on next Monday's test. I just know I'm going to do better this time. Now I'm prepared for what's ahead of me, and I know that one little smudge isn't going to keep me from painting the bigger picture of my future. Here's hoping for near honor student status coming up in the next couple months! That's my current goal at the moment, and I sure hope it doesn't slip through my fingers again.

I managed to pass the make-up exam with flying colors, even though the maximum amount of points we can receive is 75. xDD That made me feel a little better, but I'm still pretty dissapointed. Wish me luck!

Fantasy: The World's Greatest Form of Escapism

I find it fascinating that we as a race seem to have a universal love of fantasty and fiction. When you think about it on the purest and simplest levels, you would think we'd have grown past becoming emotinally connected and invovled with stories that don't even exist in the planes of reality. Why are we even interested about what happens to Frodo and Sam? Why do I care if Luke gets blown up along with the Death Star? And why oh why do I get all misty eyed during the last few episodes of Eureka Seven? They are cartoon characters after all, and really have nothing to do with my real life and day to day activites. Yet we feel concern, sympathy, even emotion when we invovle ourselves with a story that we truly love. But why? Wouldn't we much rather be improving our lives through activity, instead of diving into a creation of pure imagination with no truth and no 'real' substance.

The real truth is, we need fantasty to escape. When the waves of reality come crashing down around us, and there's no shelter in sight, what keeps you going? The belief that things will be better, and the image we create mentally to help us through the storm. We all have an ideal image of what life should be like in our minds, and that is usually what keeps us stumbling forward. The hope that some day we may be able to attain that kind of life, and watch as all our burdens drift away like grains of sand into the ocean. We no longer notice them, even though the problems and issues are still there. You've become bigger then the problems, solving everything with a cool head and a kind hearted determination. Is this not a form of fantasy?

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We begin formulating scenarios and possibilites in our heads of what our lives or what the future may hold. Ultimately, thanks to our ever clever human nature, we inadvertently create stories for ourselves. Despite the fact that it's purely fantasy, the emotions attached to it can be very real. Mentally visualising how loved ones may eventually leave you, or how you might find true love at an anime convention (xDDDD okay, that one is mine) can cause a wall of feelings to wash over you. That's why when someone else's story is unraveling in front of us, in the forms of film or novels, we immediatelly connect to it. Because the emotions and thoughts of the stories creator appeals to all of us. We need the fantasy to block out the bad things, even if only for a few moments.

We connect to it because of an undeniable need to get away from it all. We want to see how that figment of imagination is doing in his little world, because we have a desire to participate in a scenario that has nothing to do with us or our lives. We want to see how someone else deals with issues, we want to see how the world around him changes because of his actions, we want to see if everything turns out well for him in the end.

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Think of the limitations modern society would have if it wasn't for the imaginations of scientists and inventors. We wouldn't have any sort of robotics, we wouldn't have television, heck we wouldn't even have the light bulb. Wired into us from birth, human kinds hunger for fantasy triggers our imagination. Its lead us to the moon and back, and there's a very real possibility that it'll take us much further then that.

What I Learned From My Mother

In honor of Mother's Day, it's my duty as an honorable American boy to say just how fantastic my mother really is. When I was young and needed emotianl support, who was there for me? Mom. With warm little nothings that could put even the most excessively hyper beast back into its pen. Every time I think about her singing "You Are My Sunshine", my heart literally melts. No matter how hard I was crying or how upset I was, hearing her sing that melody always calmed me down. Through the best of times, through the worst of times.

I really can't help but admire her spirit. She may be a bit on the paranoid side, but she also has an amazing sparking energy that never ceases to let up. Even when she's depressed, even when she's pissed, the energy never goes away. It's like an honest life force shining through everything. The situation around me may be completely black with no end in sight, but when my mother is around she's like my light of hope. Everything brightens up, and I'm finally able to see my path once again.

I'm not saying that my mother is perfect by any stretch, she is a human being afterall. She is, however, the one who conceived and raised me from an infant into the man I've become today. Just for that alone, I am forever thankful, and forever loving. :) Love you, mom!

- Happy Mother's Day
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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Blogging: Can't Think of Anything Thoughtful to Say

It was going to happen at some point ladies and gentlemen, I have offically run out of blog ideas. I've talked about religion, I've talked about my interests, I've been reviewing movies, I've talked about my personal life.. and now I can't think of anything else to talk about. Here I am, wanting to update my blog like crazy, and stuff just isn't coming. My brain needs to fire itself up, because I'm sure not coming up with anything inventive and or interesting to say. xDD Unless of course you count that 'Karin' review, which was pretty good, if I may say so myself.

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On a completely different note, the weather next week says 'Pirates' will once again invade ciniplexes with mediocre critical response but with outstanding ticket sales. Proof once again that a film doesn't have to be quality to make a billion.

Maybe I should come up with a plan. Yeah, that'll work! Every week I'll write down a new topic that I can talk about, and I can do research on it and state my opinion! ....... You know, if I had the time or the energy to do research outside of school. *sigh* Maybe I should write one of those "Support Our Troops" entries. Everyone loves those (I don't have a good mind for politics)!

This isn't really getting me anywhere, so I'll just leave it at this. May The Geek Be With You, and leave your comment at the beep. *beep*

Karin (An Anime in Review)

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket This was quite a surprise. An anime series that has yet to hit the United States, has only been produced here in manga form, and has little-to-no fanbase. The surprising part.. the show was actually good! Sure, it isn't the next Eureka Seven or Fullmetal Alchemist, but it isn't trying to be. What you have here is a cute romantic comedy about two teenagers falling in love and dealing with the inevitable complications that there relationship will lead them to. It doesn't help matters that the girl just so happens to be a vampire capable of roaming about in the sunlight, while everyone in her family (not counting her younger sister Anju) must live the rest of their lives in the shadows. Actually.. calling Karin a vampire is technically incorrect. She's a special breed of vampire whose blood increases, a blood-maker. Being a blood-maker means that she can live outside in the sunlight and participate in social activites like most normal teenage girls.. with a catch. Her surplus blood must be injected into humans through vampire bites, otherwise an ungodly amount of plasma rushes straight out of her nose like a rocket! What's a girl to do?

Despite how crude the show sounds by my brief description above (I try my best), it's actually really really cute! The relationship between Karin and the mortal Usui-kun makes for great entertainment, and the situations don't fall prey to the typical anime cliches that often plague this kind of animation. Sure, you still have the usual character archetypes and guidelines that are usually connected to romantic stories, but the fantasy/vampire angle helps to keep the show from striding into "been there, done that" territory. It is a story about a blood spewing vampire after all! How much more creative can you get?!

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This show knows that vampires are cool, and even though the cast is generally lovable, there are still several vampirc horror moments. None of it is particularly scary or even threatening, but it adds an extra 'bite' to the series. Get it? Bite! xDD I'm so clever.

The episode quality is rather consistent when compared to other animated comedies, which have the tendency to be a bit more 'scatter gun' as far as script quality are concerned. Here, every episode is just about as good as the last, making the whole package very engaging and often hysterical. Of course, there is one exception... the dreadful and completely out of place Episode 18! I don't wanna discuss what happened in that episode, I don't wanna remember how it ruined my perception of possibly the coolest character on the show, I'm just going to pretend it DOESN'T EXIST! Get it, got it, good!

There are just soo many cute and memorable moments sprinkled around this little candy bar, that it's hard to imagine anyone who could truly hate it. Sure, it doesn't have the mind-blowing impact or lasting value of a show like Fullmetal Alchemist, but its characters feel so fresh and true that I couldn't help but fall for it. The story won't change your life or the view of the world around you, but that's not what romantic comedies are about. Comedies are about kicking back after a hard day's work and laughing at someone else who's in a deeper and more amusing pit of hell then you're currently in. Observing it for what it's meant to be, the show is top-notch entertainment. But that doesn't mean that I don't have a few issues with it.

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Flaw 1: It isn't genetically possible for someone's eyes to be that freaking big! Did she get eye implants or something?

*sigh* Those Japanese anime writers and their dirty minds. This is one of the cleaner anime comedies I've seen so far, but don't be surprised when you slam into the inevitable "how'd you get so stacked" one-liner. In another show, I would have accepted such dialouge, but when it's used here it just feels contrivied and out of place. It was funny the first time they commented on her bra size.. but after that it gets old. Not to mention the two rather awkward bath conversation scenes near the end of the series. There is nothing here that's particularly offensive (especially for anime fans), but it takes away from the overall class of the show. 0_0 Don't even get me started on the show's intro.

Another thing to note is that, and this doesn't happen often mind you, sometimes the series' fantasy elements feel a little out of place. One particular note is a swashbuckling Highlander-ish fight that unfolds a few episodes before the show's conclusion It was just too much for me to take! I can accept all the other crazy stuff that happens, but when it comes to a nearly Matrix like swordfight, you know that section needed a rewrite. It just doesn't fit with the overall tone, and feels just a little tacked on. There are a few other scenes that I can vaguely remember, but I think you get the idea. There is some camp invovled (surprise! It's animated! duh!).

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Flaw 2: Why oh why do the anime characters have it so easy in terms of love! It's not fair! *sniffle sniffle*

On the whole, this is a fine choice for your anime viewing attention. :) If you're addicted to sweets like me, make that about an hour every night before you go to sleep. It's that cute! Long live Karin, and pray that there'll be a second season (it has been hinted at)!!

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Rating: B+

Le Update on Le School

Alright, the first week of nursing school is now offically over! Only another fourteen months until I can go out and work as an LVN (Licensed Vocational Nurse), and make a minor amount of green. But of course that isn't the important part of the job.. the important thing is that I'll be helping sick people to recovery. It's going to take alot of adjusting and effort, but eventually I think I'll be a really awesome nurse! Honestly, I'm gonna rock the house.. or rock the hospital.. or care center... or whatever. The point is, the more and more I'm studying into this field, the more I realise that this is gonna be one rewarding job. There are going to be days where it'll be complete and utter choas, but that's going to happen no matter which carrer path I tromp down. *squeals* Can't wait until I graduate!

Let me tell you though, the study load is really hefty. You basically go to school, go straight home, complete all your homework, maybe get an hour of anime and video games in, and go to bed. xDD Which isn't too bad now that I think about it, but to me it's like being thrown to the sharks. I'm not used to this kind of schedule, especially because I hadn't been to college sense the begginning of last semester. So yeah, I basically had a couple months there where I didn't have any real goals set until the nursing program started. Luckily, it's giving me a quick kick in the motivator!

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Photobucket is truly an awesome site. *sigh* I remember Pokemon. So many hundreds of dollars wasted on collectible toys that I never used. I want my nine-hundred bucks back!

One thing that I did find surprising was that we've been doing alot of math. The first couple days were basically nothing but math, which wasn't quite what I was expecting. It's completely understandable though, because they want to get the basics out of the way before they actually go and teach you all of the patient stuff. I have heard quite a few interesting stories from our teacher though... vomit is very common in this field 0_0

I feel pretty exhausted right now, but in a good way! I just spend the week studying, and luckily the class has Friday off. Yay! Gives me more time to study for the test that's coming up. *stands tall and proud* I did score one-hundred percent on my first quiz. *nods* I want to try and keep my grade point average around that level even if I have to sacrifice watching those Emma episodes (the latest anime series that I've been watching). So until next time people.. MAY THE GEEK BE WITH YOU! *bows and exits stage left*

Saturday, May 05, 2007

The Revenge of the Needle

Well, the nursing program is going to start this Monday. You can't believe how excited I am about this!! I am literally off the walls freaking out over here! After what seemed like forever, I'll finally be doing something meaningful and pull my life in an interesting new direction.. you know, outside of anime. But joining the wonderful world of nursing also means that I'll have to get certain immunites to particular diseases, which of course means that I have to visit the doctor once again. Exciting.. I know.

It was a somewhat interesting experience though, since I'm seeing hospitals and other medical facilities from a whole new perspective. Someday, I'll end up working at one of these places, so I better get used to the atmosphere now. They're really neat actually. You've got a bunch of guys running around treating patients, comforting the sick, and even preparing families for the possibility of death (okay, that part isn't so neat). Nurses are an important piece in the medical puzzle, and being in the place where the action happens was thought provoking. I didn't see anything particularly interesting, but there was something enlightening about seeing what may become one of my homes away from home in the following years.

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I remember that line! Wow.. I'm having flashbacks to my childhood now. *wipes away a tear*

After one generally painless shot and some drawn blood, I have learned to know the needle.. you must first fear it! xDDD Sure, I'll be just fine if I ever have to inject somone with a needle, but if I'm on the receiving end of one of those things 0_0 I'll take it, but my face will turn beet red in the process. I am what we in the medical field call "The iPod Patient." With ear-buds placed firmly in each ear, I can just pretend I'm at home not getting a shot. :) There's nothing quite like hearing the song "Candy Pop" while someone is sticking a needle into your arm. *hums along* I really don't understand why I love that song, it's really cheesy and overproduced pop song. Catchy though (wow, that was off topic).

Guess what?! Tomorrow, they're gonna stick me with even more needles. *applause sounds in the background* Until tomorrow comes, I intend to spend my time reading, writing, and watching anime! May the Geek Be With You.

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I just couldn't help but think this funny. That's me, the student nurse! *squeals*

Friday, May 04, 2007

Spider-Man 3 Review

Well, summer is almost upon us! And us movie geeks knows what that means... The Season of Generic Sequels is upon us! To be entirely honest, I was dreading the results of this film. After hearing so much negative buzz right before the film's release, I was almost certain that the entire thing was going to be one big giant train wreck. Either that or it was going to be another half-assed attempt by Hollywood to farm every last dollar they could from a franchise that would have been better off being left alone (example: Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man's Chest). I sat down in my local multiplex, and braced myself for the worst. Afterall, the last super hero film I had the displeasure to digest (X-Men 3: The Last Stand) left me feeling so empty and utterly dissapointed that I couldn't help but distrust nearly every sequel before I actually sit down and watch it.

This film really caught me by surprise... it didn't suck! But was it a great movie? No! It is filled with a laundry lists of flaws, many of which were clearly present in the last two films of the series. So if you didn't mind the average acting and completely unbelievable feats of gravity defying action the first time around, you won't notice it here either. Which brings us to one of the other questions that everyone has been asking about Spider-Man 3.. is it as good as the first two? Well, you'll just have to keep on reading to find out, won't cha?

First thing I would like to point out is that this is a considerably darker film then the first two, well deserving of its PG-13 rating. They never show anything particularly graphic or bloody, but the violence has been ramped up quite a bit. One thing to note is Spider-man's sudden shift in personality which effects his actions a good portion of the picture's 2 1/2 hour running time. I could see kids being slightly disturbed by the fact that Peter Parker is all of a sudden slamming people violently up against walls and wrecking havoc around New York City. Spider-man is back to normal by the film's conclusion, but I couldn't help but feel just a tad sad for the parents who brought their younger kids to go see it. This isn't a film designed with especially young children in mind, and I thought it was weird just how many five and six year old kids were in the theatre. Not so nice when you a hear toddler softly crying in the very back while you're trying to get emotinally involed with the story. Parents, be aware of the content in Spider-man 3 before you take your tyke! It gets just a tad scary, especially in the Venom/Eddie Brock church scene, where Brock seeking revenge turns into something truly ugly (more on that later)!

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If he was this cool throughout the whole film, this would be one of the top movies of the summer. Unfortuantely, he's played by The 70's Show's Topher Grace. Doh!

Besides the clear shifts in tone, this is a Spider-man movie through and through. From the opening credits to the music, everything here feels authentic to the mythos that the first two films so clearly defined. You have your high-flying web-slinging antics, you have your slightly corny yet undeniably sweet romantic dialouge, and the usual mix of drama with superhero camp. What Spider-man 3 does is deliver everything that you come to expect from the series, but gives you three times more of it. Three times the villans, three times the drama, and three times the camp factor! Unfortuantely, the actual quality of the matieral is a real mixed bag.

I personally think more elements of the film should have been left underwraps. Imagine how awesome it would have been if we didn't know that Venom was in the film. I would have passed out in the theatre (probably not.. but you get my point).

Any review of Spider-Man 3 can't go without saying how dissaponting the villans were. Even though they're completely fleshed out and have understandable motives, they lack any kind of real menace. A severe case of mis-casting, giving such important adversary roles as Venom to the one and only.... Topher Grace from That 70's Show? You've gotta be kidding me right?! I think I have more menace in my left pinky then 'Eric Foreman' does! Why didn't it get cast in the role! Same goes for the Sandman... maybe a better title for him would be Can't-Act-Man. Impressive sand effects aside, his entire role felt rather tacked on to just throw another super villan into the frey. Is it really necessary to have three of them? Quality over quantity, my dear director. The only real redeeming factors of these two is the fact that.. well... they have cool visual effects embedded in their very souls! xD Just needed to say something postive here.

The real core of the story, however, is just as strong as it was in Spider-Man 2. Peter Parker is still your average neighbor Spider-Man, building up the courage to ask the love of his life (Mary Jane Watson) to marry him. Unfortuantely, things don't go so hot, and they start having issues. Major issues! I'm not going to leak any spoliers here, but let's just say that the reapperance of Harry Osbourne and a certain alien blob from outer space turns their entire world upside down. There are quite a few surprises along the way, so don't go in expecting the same ol' story, same ol' song and dance (Kirsten Dunst actually sings twice in the film.. random fact of the week). Infact, the plot often veered itself into directions I didn't expect, which for long time Spidey-fans is either going to ratchet up the tension... or cause them all to rise up and write director Sam Raimi some very angry hate mail! I personally found it all rather entertaining, but I've read many reviews from people how have thought differently. Personally, I feel I must applaud the filmmakers for trying something orginal instead of rehasing the orginals. In an age of uninspired sequels, this one at least has the guts to create something unique.

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Holy towering mass of sand Spider-Man! Are we running out of villian ideas or what?!

Something that has really bugs me about these movies, but is something that everyone else seems to pass by... is the overall quality of the acting. The main cast delivers some decent performances, but most of the supporting characters are mostly unbelievable and overdrawn. I know it's a comic book movie, but we as audiences have grown up since the orginal Spider-man. There have been superhero films (like Batman Begins) that are not only great pieces of popcorn entertainment, but also deliver characters and scenarios that actually feel like they could exist in the real world, regardless of how ridicoulous they sound on paper. And that was mostly because the actors took their roles seriously, instead of camping it up because it's just another "superhero movie." The most obvious instance of this is when Topher Grace is in the church asking God to "Please, kill Peter Parker!" What could have been a really powerful and emotinal scene ends up falling flat because Mr. Grace is hamming it up so much that it seems more like he's auditioning for a play then asking The Lord to commit an act of unspeakable evil.

This acting problem even glistens through some of the scenes between Peter and MJ. Much like the orginal films, these are really quite sweet.. but they can also feel quite awkward and artifical. It doesn't happen on a frequent basis, but occasionally they'll say something that just sounds ridiculous or forced. I can't quite explain why I felt this way.. but something bothered me about some of the dialouge. It didn't feel natural, it didn't flow at times. But again, I felt that way about the first two movies. So if you're a fan of the series thus far, you'll find very little to complain about. The acting isn't terrible, it just didn't meet the potential I would expect from the last chapter of a comic book epic.

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Despite all my complaing, Spider-Man 3 was still pretty decent!

What is so surprising is that besides all of its flaws, Spider-Man 3 manages to be an entertaining flick. The plot is very engaging, and the main characters are just as endearing and memorable as they were before. The action is exciting, the turns are surprising enough to keep your interest, and the ending is completely and utterly upsurd. Just to express how silly this conclusion feels without leaking spoliers.. I'll just say it's about the equivalence of getting the crap beat out of you by a bully. You decide not to turn the other way, and you decide to kick his butt! Then the bully gets all weepy-eyed, which makes you feel bad and you start to get weepy eyed. You both have a big hug, and you forgive the bully for all that horrid torture he put you through...... Yeah. Not the most inspired or imaginative ending in the world. Which is a shame, because the build-up was pretty intense.

So how did I feel after leaving the theatre? I'll just say that I left feeling satisfied and entertained, and isn't that what going to the movies is all about? It won't be winning any awards, and some fans will hate it, but I still think it is one of the most orginal sequels I've seen in a very long time. Not a great movie, not even a particularly well-structured movie, but still a worthy popcorn flick that most Spidey-fans will enjoy. Worth the price of admission, but not the best fly in the spider's web.

Rating: B-