I saw Spiderman 3 recently. Okay, I hated it, but that's not the point of this post. Fifteen drawn out subplots to explore the same well-worn themes. Between Spiderman swooping in to save the day and Aunt May swooping in to give Sunday school lessons ("good is better than bad, Peter"), I was crushingly bored...even during the action sequences. How many times have we now seen superheroes battle it out at night in Times Square? Buses flying, windows shattering, fireballs exploding in the streets... and all the while a crowd of people watching. Aren't New Yorkers supposed to have street smarts? Don't you think maybe they'd RUN FOR THEIR FUCKING LIVES?! Mothers with their cute little tykes standing in the middle of harm's way watching 200 foot monsters throw the ESPN Fun Zone into Central Park. Apparently the citizens of Metropolis and Gotham City are equally stupid.
But I digress.
The way I rate a movie is by what time I first check my watch.
If I can go the whole movie without checking once, that's a great movie. And if it's a three-hour movie, then it's a classic. Then it's The Godfather.
Let's say the movie starts at 8:00.
If I can go until 9:00 then I'm reasonably entertained. The second act is starting to drag but that second act is every writer's boulder up the hill.
But if I'm glancing at my wrist, it's 9:00, and Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler have just met, then I know I'm in trouble.
If I think it's 9:00 when I check and it's only 8:30 then I'm really screwed. My wife has roped me into another Anthony Minghella movie.
And if I hit that little light button and it's 8:15, the next time I look at my watch it'll be at 8:30 at Starbucks.
With Pearl Harbor I didn't get through the opening credits.
My Spiderman 3 time checks: 8:30, 9:00, 9:15, 9:35, 10:00, 10:03. 10:04. 10:05. 10:15. 10:15:30, 10:15:45.
There's one villain Spiderman can't defeat -- the Seiko Killer.
Don't waste your time.
You can read more from Ken at kenlevine.blogspot.com