Efficiency, sarcasm, and natty fur!

This monkey and this robot once had a system: three blogs for three subjects. But it was complicated and vague and usually ended in feces throwing. So we have combined all three into a melange of media reviews and links and excessive blather, so as to reduce the burden on your short attention span.

In the right column, Monkey + Robot have compiled for you a compendium of sassy, savvy and in the know media reviews and tidbits, for your time-wasting pleasure. And lest you poke at us with sticks or cut off our power supply, the reviews are now selectable through those perky drop-down menus. Monkey + Robot Film and TV reviews, Wrongrobot's Comic Stash, and more.

Grab a chunk of melon and some Demoral, because in the left column, we have accumulated for you every snappy link we found amusing, entertaining, provocatively witty, or frankly, just colorful, with easy to understand small words so monkeybites can follow along. Such is Robotic Root!

Entertainment Media Ratings System:

Wrongrobot's Robot Rating: 1-10 Clicks, more indicating a happier robot!

Monkeybites' Monkey Rating: 1-10 Ooks! More indicating a mouthful of rotting simian teeth and lips curled in monkey pleasure!

IronLung's Robot Rating: 1-10 Clanks! More indicating a red-eyed, slack-jawed, blissed-out, ride-pimped dizzy droid! [this is good]

Vicbot's Robot Rating: 1-10 Whirrs! More indicating data that computes well with others.

WWW http://monkey-plus-robot-reviews.blogspot.com
Wrongrobot's Fantasy Film Casting:
Casting Batman: Year One
Casting The Losers
Casting Richard Zach's Pirate Hunter


Film Reviews [M+R Review Rating, out of 10 Possible Clicks, or Clanks, or Ooks]

Adventures of Baron Munchausen: 8 Clicks
Aliens Vs. Predator: 1 Clank
Bad Santa: 9 Clicks
Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever: 2 Clicks
Bend it Like Beckham: 8 Clicks
Bourne Supremacy: 10 Clicks
Bowling for Columbine: 8 Clicks
Bubba Ho-Tep: 8 Clanks
Cirque du Soleil- Allegria [stage]: 10 Clicks
Cold Mountain: 7 Clicks
Cutthroat Island: 2 Clicks
Elf: 8 Clicks
Equilibrium: 6 Clicks
Escape From Alcatraz: 7 Clicks
Finding Nemo: 10 Clicks
Girl With a Pearl Earring: 7 Clicks
The Graduate [stage]: 7 Clicks
Hero: 7 Clanks
House of 1000 Corpses: 5 Clanks
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days: 5 Clicks
Hudson Hawk: 6 Clanks
The Hulk: 7 Clicks
Identity: 3 Clicks
Igby Goes Down: 5 Clicks
Intolerable Cruelty: 6 Clicks
I, Robot [trailer commentary][IronLung]
I, Robot [trailer commentary][Wrongrobot]
Kill Bill Vol.1: 10 Clicks
Kill Bill Vol.2 [IronLung]: 9 Clanks
Kill Bill Vol.2 [Wrongrobot]: 10 Clicks
The Last Samurai: 8 Clicks
LotR: Return of the King: 7 Clicks
My Architect: 9 Clicks
Original Kings of Comedy: 7 Clicks
The Phantom: 1 Click
Pirates of the Caribbean: 9 Clicks
The Punisher: 5 Clanks
Secretary: 9 Clicks
Shanghai Knights: 4 Clicks
Spellbound: 7 Clicks
Spider-Man 2: 8 Clanks/ 8 Clicks
Starsky & Hutch: 8 Clicks
Star Trek- Nemesis: 6.5 Clicks
Terminator 3: 5 Clicks, 2 Ooks
The Thin Red Line: 7 Clicks
To Live and Die in LA: 10 Clicks
Troy: n/a
Van Helsing: 4 Clicks, 0 Clanks!
Whale Rider: 8 Clicks

Comic Film Adaptations News [Film and TV]:

Appleseed OAV 2004 6/18/04
Aeon Flux: 2/27/04
Akira Live-Action Film 9/29/04
Animated Batman 2004 9/2/04
Batman Begins: 2/12/04 2/19/04 2/24/04 3/02/04 3/03/04 3/04/04 3/08/04 3/9/04 3/17/04 3/19/04 3/31/04 TRDL Concept Illustration 4/3/04 4/5/04 4/12/04 TRDL Concept Illustration Part 2 4/12/04 4/21/04 4/22/04 4/23/04 4/23/04 4/29/04 5/4/04 Costume Critique 5/4/04 Script Excerpts 5/7/04 6/01/04 6/04/04 6/09/04 6/10/04 6/15/04 6/16/04 7/6/04 7/13/04 7/20/04 7/26/04 7/28/04 Trailer 7/29/04 7/31/04 8/2/04 8/3/04 8/4/04 8/5/04 8/8/04 8/10/04 8/12/04 8/17/04 8/20/04 8/24/04 8/30/04 10/19/04
Battle Angel Alita: 9/10/04
Black Widow 4/29/04
Blade 3: Trinity: 5/4/04 6/11/04
Catwoman: 2/18/04 5/21/04 Game Concept Art 5/21/04 6/11/04 Suckage! 7/29/04
Comic Adaptations 10/13/03
Constantine: 3/08/04 5/14/04
Dazzler?!? 7/7/04
Elektra: 2/19/04 3/29/04 4/23/04 5/14/04 4/29/04 5/4/04 6/10/04 6/18/04 7/1/04 7/2/04 7/6/04 7/29/04 9/20/04 10/13/04
Fantastic Four: 6/16/04 7/8/04 7/14/04 7/15/04 8/3/04 9/20/04
Ghost in the Shell 2: 9/18/04
Global Frequency: 6/15/04 7/16/04 8/17/04
Good Time For Comic Films! 5/14/04
Green Lantern?!?: 7/24/04 Koboshed 8/8/04
Hawaiian Dick: 4/21/04 Interview 4/22/04
He-Man: 10/11/04
Hellboy: 2/12/04 Interview: Del Toro 2/20/04
3/03/04 3/9/04 3/17/04 Personality Test 3/17/04 Figures Released 3/29/04 Toys Addendum 3/30/04 Choose the Next Figures! 4/21/04 Hellboy: An Introduction 3/30/04 Interview: Selma Blair 3/30/04
Interview: Spectral Motion 4/5/04 Caught On Film in '62! 4/21/04 Interview: Selma Blair, CafeFX 4/28/04 Hellboy Collaborator Medical Fund Auction! 5/4/04 DVDs 7/7/04 7/28/04 8/3/04 8/5/04 8/25/04 8/31/04 Hellboy 2: 3/29/04 4/8/04 6/03/04 8/27/04 9/1/04
Hulk 2? 5/4/04 9/7/04

Hulk Op-Ed 7/14/04
Iron Man: 3/03/04 4/23/04 6/10/04 6/28/04 9/14/04
8/2/04 8/10/04
Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD 9/8/04
Preacher FX 4/29/04
Sin City: 3/19/04 4/04/21 4/04/29 4/05/19 5/21/04 6/01/04 6/11/04 7/1/04 7/26/04 7/28/04 7/20/04 8/11/04 9/15/04
Spider-Man 2: 2/18/04 3/29/04
Spider-Man 3: 5/4/04 5/14/04 6/10/04 7/13/04 Spider-Man 2 Game Screenshots 6/8/04 Spider-Man 2 [trailer commentary]
Superman: 5/21/04 6/03/04 6/09/04 6/10/04 6/28/04 7/1/04 7/13/04 7/14/04 7/20/04 8/5/04 8/10/04 8/27/04 8/31/04 9/10/04 9/15/04 10/19/04 [2] 10/19/04
Transformers: 9/10/04
Wanted 3/03/04
Watchmen: 4/4/23 4/7/24 7/24/24 8/12/04 9/10/04
Wolverine: 10/13/04
X-Men 3: 7/20/04 5/4/04 6/18/04 7/7/04 7/8/04 7/14/04 7/15/04 7/20/04 8/27/04 Aborted Sentinel? 9/2/04 9/7/04 9/15/04

Film News, General:

A Scanner Darkly Film Adaptation
Akira: Kaneda's Bike in Production? 8/28/04
Aliens Vs. Predator: 6/2/04 Chess Set 5/26/04 6/8/04 Trailor 6/11/04 6/28/04 7/8/04 [trailer commentary] 8/5/04 8/8/04 7/15/04 8/12/04
Anchorman 7/13/04
Big Lebowski Day! 5/5/04
Bloodrayne 8/10/04
Bond? Who Bond? 8/3/04
Bourne Supremacy: 1/6/04 Trailer: 5/4/04 7/8/04
Cage Deserves Happiness 7/31/04
Clooney/ Tarantino in the News 10/15/03
Dodgeball 6/01/04
Domino 8/3/04
HEAT vs. R:HD: Dialog Analysis 10/22/03
Heat/ GTA III: Lawsuits Imitate Life 10/23/03
Incredibles 8/23/04
Jim White Documentary 3/23/04
Kill Bill 2 Poster 2/18/04
Kill Bill Interview: Uma Thurman 4/8/04
Kill Bill Vol. 3?! 4/12/04
The Life Aquatic 1/15/04
Matrix Explained? 8/31/04
National Treasure 8/4/04
Nowhere Man 7/26/04
Pierce is Bond No More 7/27/04
Sky Captain 7/15/04
Sky High 8/17/04
Soderberg Joins Che 4/5/04
Speed Racer: Vince Vaughn 6/25/04
Stealth 7/8/04
Summer 04 Films to Watch 4/22/04
Team America Puppet Porn 8/25/04
Transporter 2 6/16/04
Van Helsing: Van Helsing WHO? 3/16/04 Interview: ILM 5/5/04 Penny Arcade 5/18/04
Underworld 2 9/7/04
WB Kills ESC F/X 8/18/04
Will Smith Lexicon 5/18/04
Zatoichi: Blind Swordsman 6/25/04
No Mas James Bond
Miami Vice on the Big Screen

TV Reviews, and the M+R Review Rating, out of 10 Possible Clicks, or Clanks, or Ooks

24 Season 3: 10/29/03: 8 Whirrs 11/5/03: 6 Whirrs 2/08/04: 7 Whirrs 2/12/04: 8 Whirrs 2/18/04: 8 Whirrs 2/24/04: 9 Whirrs 4/06/04: 7 Whirrs 4/26/04: 6 Whirrs 5/03/04: 3 Whirrs 5/11/04: 9 Whirrs 5/18/04: 8 Whirrs Finale 7/8/04: 3 Whirrs
Apprentice: Robin and Carolyn 4/16/04
ATHF and Space Ghost Links 2/25/04
ATHF: Revenge of the Trees 10/13/03: 8 Clicks The Shaving 10/27/03: 7 Clicks Super Trivia 9/22/03: 8 Clicks Battlestar Galactica 1/13/04: 3 Clicks
Carnivale: 9/22/03: 10 Clicks 9/30/03: 9 Clicks
Christopher Columbus: Secrets From the Grave: 3 Clicks
CSI: 8/11/03: 1 Ook 9/26/03: 5 Clicks CSI: Miami: 7/30/03: 1 Ook 7/31/03: 6 Clicks 9/26/03: 7 Clicks
Deadwood 3/24/04: 8 Clicks
Dinner for Five: 9/26/03: 7 Clicks 9/30/03: 7 Clicks
Ed: 9/26/03: 3 Clicks Series Finale 2/12/04: 7 Clicks
Emmy Nominations 04 7/15/04: 7 Clicks
Enterprise 10/13/03: 6 Clicks
Everybody Loves Raymond 9/26/03: 6 Clicks
Friends 9/26/03: 7 Clicks
Grammys: Outkast's Andre 3000 2/9/04: 10 Clicks
Law and Order Family: 9/30/03: 8 Clicks
Law and Order: 10/13/03
Law and Order: CI: 1/12/04: 8 Clicks
Marvel Comics Guide to NYC: 10 Clicks
Method and Red: 9 Clicks
MI-5 10/28/03: 10 Clicks
Mix It Up 1/12/04: 8 Clicks
Mr. Show: What to Think 9/10/03: 10 Clicks
Penn & Teller's Bullshit: 9 Clanks
Reno 911!: 9 Clicks 9/7/03
Space Ghost C2C: Baffler Meal: 11 Clicks! Flipmode 2/25/04:20 Clicks Survivor 7 9/19/03: 8 Clicks
Survivor All-Stars: 2/12/04: 8 Clicks 2/13/04: 7 Clicks Tour de France 2003 8/4/03: 8 Clicks
Will & Grace 9/26/03: 7 Clicks

TV News

24/Law and Order/CSI "That Guy" Character Actor Tracker
24: Comic Adaption 3/25/04 Season 4 Casting 8/9/04
Amazing Screw-On Head Cartoon 4/8/04
Cigarette Smoking Man Action Figure 5/26/04
CSI: CSI in Comedy Culture 6/24/04 CSI's Peterson 2/18/04 Sick outs Everywhere 7/27/04
CSI: Miami Drinking Game 2/27/04 No Mas Rory Cochrane 8/9/04
CSI:NY: 3/8/04 3/16/04 Drawn Together 8/20/04
HDTV ScreenCap Archive 8/25/04
Jessica Simpson 10/21/03
Mastershake Speaks 9/7/04
Nike's Lance Commercial: Magnet 8/18/04
Law and Order: Trial by Jury Casting 6/04/04
NBC Hijacks TiVo 1/15/04
Simpsons' Shearer Balks 8/12/04
Survivor All-Stars Cast 1/12/04
Survivor 9 8/18/04
Robbery: Homicide Division Music 9/30/03

French Connection Made for TV


Wrongrobot's Comics Stash- Comics and Sequential Art Reviews

Comic Reviews, and the M+R Review Rating, out of 10 Possible Clicks, or Clanks, or Ooks

Comics Reviews Intro
100 Bullets: 48: 7 Clicks
52, 53: 8 Clicks
9-11, Artists Respond Collections
Alias: 24-25: 10 Clicks 26-27: 10 Clicks 28: 9 Clicks
Astonishing X-Men: 2: 8 Clicks 3,4: 9,10 Clicks
Avengers: 500: 8 Clicks 502: 7 Clicks
Batgirl Year One TPB: 10 Clicks
Batman: 620: 5 Clicks 621: 7 Clicks
Batman: Long Halloween: 7 Clanks
Bloodstream 1: 1 Click
BPRD One Shots: 9/7 Clicks
Cla$$War: 4: 8 Clicks 5: 10 Clicks
Daredevil: 50-52: 9/3/5 Clicks 54: 4 Clicks 56: 9 Clicks 57: 7 Clicks
65: 6 Clicks
Domino:Perfect Weapon: 8 Clicks
Exiles: 30-33: 6/4/4 Clicks 36-37: 3/6 Clicks
Ex Machina: 2, 3: 7 Clicks
Global Frequency 11: 10 Clicks
Gotham Central: 10-11: 9 Clicks 13: 9 Clicks 16-18: 9 Clicks
Hellhounds 1-3: 7 Clicks
Human Target: 4: 9 Clicks 5-6: 8 Clicks 7: 8 Clicks
12, 13: 9 Clicks
Iron Man: 73-75: 8 Clicks 76: 2 Clicks 77: 5 Clicks 86: 9 Clicks
JSA: 51-52: 7/8 Clicks 53: 8 Clicks 54: 4 Clicks 56-57: 7 Clicks 58: 3 Clicks
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen 2: 3 Clanks, 8 Clicks
The Losers: Ante Up TPB: 9 Clanks 6: 10 Clicks 10-11: 8/10 Clicks
16: 10 Clicks
New Invaders 0: 3 Clicks
New X-Men: 144-146: 5 Clicks 149: 3 Clicks 151-152: 2 Clicks 153: 3 Clicks
[Renamed X-Men] 159-162: 4 Clicks
Paradise X: A: 9 Clicks
Planetary: TPBs (1-12): 8 Clicks 16: 5 Clicks : 8 Clicks 18: 9 Clicks
Powers: 33: 8 Clicks 36: 9 Clicks 37: 10 Clicks V2, 1: 10 Clicks
2-4: 10 Clicks
Pulse: 5: 7 Clicks
Queen and Country: 20: 10 Clicks 21: 10 Clicks 25: 8 Clicks
The Ride 1: 9 Clicks
Secret War 1: 8 Clicks
Sleeper: 8: 10 Clicks 11: 10 Clicks 12: 10 Clicks Sleeper Season Two: 1: 10 Clicks
Supreme Power: 1-2: 10 Clicks 4: 10 Clicks 7: 10 Clicks 8: 9 Clicks 11: 8 Clicks
Tokyo Storm Warning TPB: 5 Clicks
Ultimates: 12: 10 Clicks 13: 10 Clicks
Ultimate Fantastic Four 1-2: 7 Clicks 3: 8 Clicks
Ultimate Nightmare: 1: 10 Clicks
2: 8 Clicks
Ultimate Six: 1: 10 Clicks 4: 10 Clicks 6: 9 Clicks Ultimate X-Men: 36-37: 2 Clicks
Ultra: 2: 9 Clicks
Uncanny X-Men: 429-431: 4 Clicks 433: 2 Clicks 437-441: 1 Click 444-445: 5 Clicks 446: 6 Clicks
Wanted 2: 10 Clicks
We3: 1: 10 Clicks
Wildcats 3.0: 13: 7 Clicks 16: 7 Clicks 18: 7 Clicks
X-Statix : 2: 4 Clicks 13-15: 6 Clicks 18: 4 Clicks 19: 3 Clicks

Friends of Robot: Artists:

FoR: 36Oh.net FofR: Enrico Casarosa
FoR: Terra Major's Horns of Hattin
FoR: Losstarot
FoR: Prometheus
FoR: Studio Kosen

Comic News:

Check the Film News section for updates on comic-related film adaptations! 100 Bullets FPS Game 4/2/04
Ale Garza on Batgirl 8/5/04
Amazing Screw-On Head Cartoon 4/8/04
Apparat Line: Warren Ellis 8/25/04
The Atomic Revolution Comic 3/23/04
Authority: Nguyen Interview 5/14/04
Authority OGN 7/20/04
Avengers 500 Preview 7/1/04
Brent Anderson on Pulse, Astro City 3/25/04
Batman Begins Costume Illustration [Wrongrobot]4/3/04
Batman: War on Crime 8/31/04
Bullseye Origin Series 6/28/04
Comics For Intellectuals 9/1/04
Decompression and Pacing 9/23/03
Dillon on Bullseye 9/7/04
Doc Frankenstein by Burlyman 9/2/04
Doc Ock Year One 6/16/04
Earth's Mightiest Mini 9/3/04
Ellis and Granov on Iron Man 5/25/04
Ellis Stream-a-Blog: Iron Man 7/31/04
Ellis Stream-a-Blog: Explodo 8/2/04
Ellis Stream-a-Blog: Bad Kids 8/27/04
Fox Sued over LoEG Script 9/26/03
Hawaiian Dick Bk 2 8/23/04
Hack/Slash book 2 6/18/04
Hal Jordon and Copyrights 8/20/04
Hellboy: An Introduction 3/30/04
IDW's 24 Comic 3/25/04
Iron Man Facelift 9/12/03
Iron Man 87 Outtakes 8/27/04
Joss Whedon Interview: Astonishing X-Men 8/10/04
JSA vs. JSA 8/12/04
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen 3 6/1/04
Marvel Vs. DC 8/31/04
Masamune Shirow 10/15/03
Micro-Heros Animated GIFs 4/6/04
Morrison on JLA: Hyperclan and Superman 6/1/04
Morrison's WE3 9/1/04
New Avengers 8/18/04
Nguyen Confirmed on Authority Vol.3 5/14/04
Nouvelle Manga Manifesto 6/11/03
Ocean 8/9/04
Orson Welles as Batman? 9/26/03
Phoenix Mini-Series 8/20/04
Poorly Drawn Animals 8/2/04
Remains: Niles/Dwyer Interview 3/12/04
Scurvy Dog: Yount Interview 1/15/04
SD Comicon Visual Oddities 7/31/04
Space Ghost 7/31/04
Spandex vs Leather 4/6/04
Steven Grant on 'Literature of Ethics'
The Losers: Diggle/Jock Interview 3/11/04
The Picture of Everything 1/15/04
The Question: Rick Veitch 9/1/04
The Question: Tommy Lee Edwards 9/2/04
Teddy Roosevelt From Mars 8/20/04
Tom Coker: Batman in Monolith 8/30/04
Tony Harris Pages from new Iron Man Arc
Ultimates: Bryan Hitch Interview 9/12/03
Ultra 8/18/04
Watchmen Remembered 8/12/04
WizardWorld LA Promo Art 3/22/04
WonderCon 2004 Buzz 8/13/04
WonderCon 2004 Buzz 2 8/17/04
WonderCon 2004 Dance-Off 8/18/04
Worlds Finest Film 7/26/04
World's Finest Interview 8/4/04
Young Avengers 8/20/04
Identity Crisis Covers
Honey Moon, The Ride, Rex Steele, Shirow, Megacity909
Comic Preview: Intimates, Iron Man
TSR Illustrator Terminally ill
Twinkie Comics, Avengers Dissembled Toy-style
Interview: Mark Millar of Ultimates
Interview: Cliff Chiang of Human Target
Star Trek Manga Anthology from Tokyopop
Pop Mahn to TokyoPop
Granov Iron Man Preview Pages
Image Comics Moves to Berkeley

Film Review: Spider-Man 2 (Longest Reviews EVER)

Spider-Man 2: The M+R Death Squad has been trying to catch me for almost a month now, demanding either the Spider-Man 2 review, or 10 dollars for the ticket back. Knowing how things work at M+R, I knew that they wouldn't take the money, but were rather just trying to drag me out of hiding long enough to put a rubber stopper in this robot's THC receptors, which would, of course, cause a long, slow, painful power-down. And no one, least ways Mrs. IronLung, would like that. So, here is my long-overdue review of the greatest super hero movie of all time (nod to WrongRobot, who seems to think that 'Unbreakable' is the G.S.H.M.O.A.T.).


Where to begin. 2 years have passed since we last left our hero swinging in the bliss of having defeated the lame-ass Green Goblin. Peter's career is really moving along and we find him delivering pizzas on a moped. This is actually a pretty cool story point, because it's a testament to his desire to not live off the fat of the Osborns anymore -- he's doing things his own way.

However, being a super hero takes up a lot of one's time, as you can imagine, and he's doing a shitty job at the pizza joint, he's slipping in his classroom work (enter Curt Connors -- SM3??)he's late on his rent, he never visits his family or friends anymore, and MJ is pissed to the highest degree because after months on stage, PP still hasn't seen her theatre show. (He does try -- though when he shows up late, the doors are closed, and the theatre employee who's 'guarding' them is none other than Sam Raimi's favorite of all time -- Bruce Campbell.) With everything crashing down around him, depression sets in, and Peter's spider powers start to deteriorate. This is a thoroughly welcome twist to this robot. When Peter's web shooters were established as an organic part of him rather than a mechanical invention, I immediately thought, 'How the hell are they going to play off all the times in the comics when his web fluid ran out??' This allows for that to be shown now (along with some SPECTACULAR falls), and it fits into the story line quite well. With all this going on, the viewer is dragged into a very real emotional attachment. What would you do if your responsibilities were taking away from your wants and needs? Peter's decision is to give up these responsibilities. They are, after all, self-appointed. So for a good 20-30 minutes of screen time, he's back to being good old dorky Peter Parker -- Spider-Man no more. He's spending time with his friends and Aunt May again, he's excelling in his school work again, and he's generally pretty happy. He's trying to re-establish his relationship with MJ, and in doing so, finally goes to see her play. Alas, too little too late -- MJ is engaged to John Jameson (I say again -- SM3??), and it's going to take some serious work to convince her that Peter has changed his ways.

Enter Otto Octavius. Earlier on in the film, Peter has managed to weasel his way into an interview with Octavius, thanks to Harry Osborn, who is working with the good Doctor on an endlessly renewable energy source. Now, OO is unveiling the device (basically a contained fusion reaction) to Harry and all the investors. It is here that we see the tentacles which will later become his staple. The tentacles are a tool which he's invented in order to help him work with this fusion thingy without getting fried. (Incidentally, the fusion thingy is basically a small sun.) The tentacles mount onto his back by way of a giant belt at the base of a 'spine', which in turn mounts to his back by way of giant needles which drive themselves into his spinal cord, effectively connecting his brain to the AI in the tentacles. There is an 'inhibitor chip' in the tentacles, which keeps their AI from taking over his own brain. Get it? Ok, so then the thing blows up, fries the inhibitor chip and lands Otto in the hospital, where the tentacles come to life and kill all the doctors trying to save him. So basically, the way Doc Ock works is in tenuous symbiosis (holy 10-dollar descriptive!) with the AI in the tentacles. Rampage ensues, things get destroyed, Ock realizes his wife is dead and his project is thrashed and goes and finds a place to re-start his research in crazed solitude. He needs some element that Oscorp has, though, and when he goes to get it off Harry, Harry says he'll give it to him once he brings Spider-Man to him. Fair enough. Harry tells Ock to go find PP, who he knows is 'protecting' Spider-Man.

Here we come to the scene we've all seen in numerous trailers and teasers, where MJ and PP are in the coffee shop. Mary Jane is asking Peter if he loves her, he's saying no, blah, blah, blah, car comes crashing through the window, Peter saves Mary Jane, Ock snatches him up like a little bitch and says he better bring SM to somewhere at some time or he's gonna kill Mary Jane. Then he snatches up MJ and bails over a building. Well, Peter ain't havin it, and lo and behold, his fury manifests itself in the rebirth of his powers. Re-enter Spider-Man.

From this point forward in the review, I cannot give any more spoilers, cause, well, I'd spoil it for you. So let me say that the following fight scenes between Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus are some of the most action-packed scenes in movie history as far as I'm concerned. They accomplish what the pitiful 'middle Matrix movie' tried to accomplish with that lame-o 'Swarm of Smiths' scene. There's a clocktower fight scene in which so many things are happening at once that you have to really pay attention to keep it all in order in your head, but if you can keep track, you'll be jazzed. And the subway car scene, which includes a portion of fight with both characters standing on the side of the car, perpendicular to gravity, is the single greatest action sequence ever. EVER. The last 30 minutes of the film are straight-up adrenaline. If i wasn't stoned, I'm sure I woulda stood up and cheered.

Sure, there's lameness to be had, but in such small quantities that you can chalk it up to mainstream moviemaking. All in all, this is not only the greatest super hero movie of all time, but it is also a pretty good movie in general, with the hero experiencing genuine emotional distress and fighting battles not only physically but mentally. Peter is caught between being hero and regular guy. The villian, too, is intelligent. He's not just some masked maniac hell-bent on destruction, but rather another interesting character with not-quite-welcome powers, experiencing inner turmoil and emotional distress. This is not only super hero movie, but drama, action movie, and comedy, too.

Simply -- it succeeds.

8 clanks as a movie. 10 PLUS clanks as a super hero genre movie.

So says IronLung!


Wrongrobot's Notes: This robot dragged an unusually receptive Monkeybites to a special IMAX showing of Spider-Man 2, on the premise that a boom-pow movie such as this would be boom-pow[2] when super-sized on a vinyl perf screen the size of a city block, with 40-something speakers, at least six of which are larger than my GTI to begin with. The action would be, as the reggae classic defined: "Broader than Broadway" and the close-up strained romantic scenes of Kirsten Dunst's quiver-lip would have that Just-Like-Being-There discomfort level. Technically, the premise was sound, and technically, the experience delivered on these two fronts: the ausdio-visual onslaught delivered maximum smashmouth with minimum sensory overload (unlike Lucas' vaunted super-THX did to that theater on Geary for the release of Star Wars Epsiode I, which not only reinforced how ass-crappy that film was, but caused damage to my aural canals) and the mega-massive giant screen allowed the isslusion of not only being there, but being part-way into MJ's drawers... sadly, the escapist fantasy was not to last.


The following rant diverges from this review, but also, contributes some explanation as to a possible reason why I can't share IronLung's absolutist enthusiasm for the film. Here is what went so terribly wrong in the IMAX thunderdome of water toture:

We had heard so much about the importance of being in the back, that we got to the IMAX theater in San Francisco (Loews Theater- Sony Metreon) about 35 minutes early- the theater was largely empty, and we sat second row from the back to avoid view being cut off by the projection mezzanine. About a minute before the presentation started, a number of people snuck in the theater, loudly carrying on and snickering. We had the gaggle of urban teens with the booze to the left, an Eastern European guy with a polyphonic ringtone to the right, and a couple of extremely gaunt dudes piled in directly behind us, underscored by the kicking of our seats and yelling to each other about which seat was optimal. Once the IMAX self-congratulatory masturbation commercial began, which was actually pretty cool, a number of theater goers in the 1/2 filled room were still yammering on.

I was filled with a growing sense of dread that my proclamation, only minutes earlier (3.5 minutes before showtime, specifically) about perhaps IMAX being the way to go for the future, (though you pay double price, you get an A/V experience your home theater can't duplicate, and the price point hopefully rules out the riff-raff,) was terribly premature. I hadn't taken into account the non-existence of theater security- the SAME security that normally can be found crowding the entrance to each and every Leows show in the building, scanning for jumpers and unauthorized food, beverages, insulin, or life support not paid for at the concession stand.

Let me take and aside from my aside, and mention that Leows Cinemas had already been banned by this robot for their draconian concession policy that smacks of fraud: Sony owns the building. Sony owns the theater. Sony leased corner concession stands along the entrances to each of the theater doors, to candy and snack merchants. Then they posted signs along the entrances stating that food purchased by vendors other than Leows Cinemas, would not be allowed in the theater, and would be grounds for expulsion. Customers make the obvious connection that the food being sold at the theater, right in front of the doors, and sandwiched behind the bank of official concession counters in the mezzanine lobby, is part of the theater business. So they, me included, buy a $9 bag of gummi cogs or whatever, and try to enter the theater, only to be told we must abandon the food we just bought, right in front of them. So, since Sony set up the leasing conditions in a fraudulent implication of false advertizement, they are banned. I was willing to take a stab at the IMAX just this once, and lo, was I screwed...

So, back to the big game sport fisting that was my IMAX experience. Two minutes or so into the actual beginning of the film, some distractions began to grow in intensity:

1. The urban youths got out the glass bottles, dropped one, drank from the others, and started snorting and carrying on. Location: rear left.
2. The Eastern European guy starts taking calls on his phone, and answering, and responding, loudly, because, you know, he can't HEAR because of how boom-pow those 6- VW sized speakers are... note: polyphonic ringtone, of unknown synthy pop star.
3. Two dudes behind us, kicking the chair, unveil their theater snacks, not available from the concession stand.

- An aside from my aside: I was once well known for my non-concession stand snacks that bordered on, and occasionally crossed, the line of acceptability in the theater. Granted that our favorite venue in college had a Bring Your Own Food policy, but nonetheless, I've done nachos (from home, field installation) and burritos and churros, entire pizzas (vertical, cheese strucutral damage) and finally, assembly-line fajitas, over several laps, with seperate stations for grilled peppers/onions, BBQ carne asada, sauces, cheese and steamed tortillas. This caused a few theater-goers to faint, much like that old Seinfeld episode which was copying me anyway, damn it. Anyway, I'm older, wiser, and more courteous. Monkeybites suggested last night that we may have slipped over the line into curmedgeonity... you be the judge.

OK, dudes and their snack: the snack, unfortunately, was blow, and not SNL's Super Colon Blow, which would have been a relief because they'd presumably leave the theater. This was a straight-up Less Than Zero coke-fest. Snort! Snort! Seven minutes of aggressive sniffing. Then repeat. Comments. Giggles. Constant shifting in seats. kicking. Snorting. Mumbling.

Monkeybites turned and confronted them by staring (thankfully, one of the only times I can recall when Monkeybites' confrontation method didn't involve vocalization and the threat of violence, becuase who knows what evil lurks in these cokeheads' jacket pockets, so to speak) which they ignored. Finally, he got up and moved down the row to the other side of our feminine companions, leaving me the last bastion of a physical rampart between their coking, and my party's movie experience. And as an auditory barrier, I'm not much help.

I had decided to try and get through what I had hoped were to be somewhat minimal slow talky exposition scenes, because when the action would occur (on-screen) it almost drowned out the powder-snarfling behind us and the bottle clanking and rabble-rousing to the left of us, and the ringtones to the right of us. However, this was not to be, as the extended sequences of Spider-Man-less pathos IronLung found so ecstatic, became an interminable torture for me, as all I could hear were the tresspasses of these theater-jumpers that I already knew had signalled not only the confirmation of a complete Leows ban, for life, but possibly a ban on theaters, period. I cranked up the chilled heat sink lubricant to my central processor, shut down non-essential sub-routines, and prepared to hibernate.

Eventually, secuity arrived, and began trying to remove the boozy urban youths from the left corner of the theater, who resisted, so we had a good five-minute show before they threw their bottles on the ground and were restrained and removed. Cell-phone guy laid low, and the Septum-less twins retruned to their feeding frenzy. Thankfully, once the third act began and the smashmouthing resumed, I was able to push the sounds of circulatory system dissembly to the background. Inexplicably, in the final wedding sequence, the twis began arguing, TO KIRSTEN DUNST, about something.

Hate mail has been sent to the IMAX people. On with the review. Possibly the last theater-based review you'll read from this tired robot.


From the opening credits, with the ingenious re-telling of the first film through Alex Ross' painted work, to the close parallels with the classic Amazing Spider-Man #50 "Spider-Man No More!" this film continued the successful approach of holding to comic details more than extrapolating them for film audiences, and again Raimi pulls off a comic film that watches like a comic book reads.

While I admit that my patience, and ability to engage with the story, was heavily affected by the aforementioned water torture experience in the IMAX, I will agree that this was a significant improvement over the first Spider-Man film. The loss of Parker's powers was a welcome challenge for the characters, seeming to be a metaphor for insecurity and lack of focus. Taking away Spider-Man's effortless confidence and ability by introducing the seed of doubt in the character that his powers might arbitrarily and intermittantly fail, completely changed the tone of the character. There was a sense of risk here that was absent from the first film. I mean, I couldn't help but wonder if screenwriters (I mean, story credits) Gough, Millar and Chabon or credited screenwriter Sargent, had been struggling with impotence, because clearly, Spidey was impotent as hell. It's right there: mind-games, confidence issues, expectation misalignment and ejaculation problems! You read it here first.

The fact that Raimi was interested in bringing in more of the halpess loser geek status from the early comics into Parker's persona was a good idea, though I think the inherent problem with a second act of our hero abandoning his calling and trying to live a normal life is two-fold: we already saw a good portion of the first act setting up why he'd want to quit, the continuious daisy chain of emotional distress, which flowed more or less evenly between the initial Spider-Man sequences and the introduction of Dr. Otto Octavius and his eventual accident. So we're already primed for some action here. Then, when he abruptly quits, we have a long period of Spider-Man less Spider-Man, which is OK. It's been done before. Recall Superman. (Actually, we have a scene of Parker ripping his shirt off to reveal the Spider-symbol beneath, which is a direct Superman film reference.) But without interesting developments on other fronts to build suspense, the pacing fell apart. Had we seen scenes of Dock Ock terrorizing the city, other villains gathering, hell, maybe some sexy interludes with Kirsten Dunst's creamy thighs in asian dresses (again) I might have been able to pull through. Plus, less coke-heads in the neighborhood would have helped. On the bright side, the second act was a reminder of the same struggle Parker felt in the origin story of the first film: inaction, denial of responsibility only leads to greater harm. Just as his selfishness led to Ben's death, here we see that same (understandable) selfishness lead to innocent deaths and hordes of unhappy New Yorkers. Granted, it's a Marvel comics staple that characters cannot be imbued with a sense of balance. God forbid Parker find equilibrium between his civilian and hero lives. Allah forbid Spidey actually profit from his abilities (without relatives getting lead transfusions.) Buddha forbid Spidey take advantage of Raimi's seven cut scenes of horny female Spider-fans hurling panties at our hero... it's all or nothing with Peter Parker. It's realistic that he would have difficulty marrying both facets of his dual-life, and that he would encounter trouble and strife in each. But to me, the interesting part is watching him just barely succeed, not repeatedly, miserably fail.

Anyway, a highlight of his power-less phase was the way Raimi played with the pre-conceptions Parker held about how green (not Goblin green, presumably, and certainly not Osbourne ominous bow-tie green, either) the grass would be as his 'old self' by using the cheeky "Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head" song over slow-motion groovy happy Parker cruising along in his new euphoric coma of sublimation and denial. We quickly learn, as does Parker, that with the powers and the costume and the whole thing came some significant improvements on his personal life that he had taken for granted: basic hand/eye coordination, average reflexes, corrective vision, social improvements based on girls being able to zone in on his trapezius muscles bulging under his LL Bean outfit, etc. Parker became miserable on a different level, but now, he had no kick-ass stress relief to fall back on. And suffice to say, it got him no closer to those previously mentioned creamy thighs.

A note about the creamy thighs: Dunst looked significantly more harrowed in this film. I couldn't quite decide why. A little older, yes, but also , freakishly thin, hair often wet or wind-blown, unflattering clothes, and for whatever reason, she turned on the afterburners on those heavy-lidded quiver-lip looks. In the first film, I thought those were realistic approximations of first-kiss giddy anticiaption. Now I think she might have been in withdrawals. Send in the Coke Twins! I know I get bogged down in the details... Kirsten Dunst is till more interesting in these roles, harrowed andd strung-out looking, than most young Hollywood actresses, so I'm not really complaining. But, you know, where was the asian dress?!

James Franko's Osborne started strong, as a sharp, busy, mover-shaker business type, seemingly well-immersed in his father's corporate figurehead role. He seemed to have grown. But seven minutes later, he's a drunken stereotype. I'm all for seething rage and mis-managed anguish, but his character was drawn as superficially as...well, the worst-case comic character. I was stunned, given that Franko is actually one of the better actors in the cast. His hit-with-a-lawn-roller shock at discovering Spidey's identity was well-done: this character loved Parker as much as he hated Spider-Man, and his reaction was well-played.

Alfred Molina threw as much humanity into his character as possible, given the stilted, over-simplified 'wisdon' of his pre-accident dialog. He has made a big deal in the press of either playing up the Ho-Ho-I'm-Slumming-In-A-Campy-Kids-Movie thing, or I'm-Bringing-A-Thespian-Touch-To-The-Villain-Role, depending on the interview. I was looking forward to his performance, specifically because he said in an interview that he wasn't scenery-chewing as Wilem Dafoe had done (himself a contradiction- either rivetingly curious as Osbourne, or Bat-Villain ludicrous a moment later) but while many of his "angry" scenes were thrilling, when the character paused to grandstand, Molina proved scarcely better at pulling off the I'm-Arguing-With-My-Own-Brain pseudo-pschizophrenic dialog. At least here we didn't have to see a reflection of Molina wearing an ascot, over-gesticulating to him in standing water puddles or whatever.

Doc Ock is nonethless drawn with enough complexity to be interesting, as his ego battles internally with his id, fueled by the implied influence of the tentacle assembly. His character was crafty. And not in good shape. It was a refreshing villain for a super-hero flick, seeing that creepy bluish brusing around his paunch where the tentacle harness pinched his hogbelly. And since Octopus was one of my favorite baddies growing up, I was delighted at how much thought went into the use and diverse behavior of his tentacles.

Speaking of those nutty tentacles, how much fun was that! Each articulator was different in detail and function, from large claws to micro-articulators for detail work, cameras housed within the manticles, and a fantastic choreography of mannerism in how they were animated. They were presented like serpents, the claws closed and head-like, hovering and undulating around him, protecting him from harm (outward angle) or awaiting instruction (inward angle) which began to look more like they were controlling him than the reverse. The way the scenes were staged, the tentacles were doing all kinds of cool things with him barely noticing them, throwing surgeons around (one of the best sequences of the film) and scanning for threats and just being freaky in general. The FX were brilliant, as the wirework suspending the actor emulated the soft undulation of his body shifting around as the tentacles walked around the diverse terrain. To underscore certain scenes, he would rise up as if ascending a throne, other times arms would lash out in anger or emphasis.

His climbing and battle scenes were virtually flawless, and the close-combat interaction with Spider-Man was a blur of multiple attacks, while the distance strikes, hurtling objects at his opponent, were wicked in both accuracy and speed. The way he carried victims was equally realistic. I was almost completely lost in my suspension of disbelief in some of these sequences. Occasionally, perhaps due to the IMAX detail, I saw wires and digital simulacrums of Molina or Spider-Man that were identifiable. But for the most part, the action was fluid, including the most brilliant sequence, the train fight. Oddly enough, I remember thinking that it looked a hell of a lot like Chicago's elevated train substituted for NY's 9th St. train...and it was! But what work they went through to make this happen, with decals and signage and tons of surface detail tweaks, and superimposed building facades surrounding it...

We saw some forshadowing in the film, as IronLung described.

Dr. Curt Conners is the Lizard in the comics, as John Jameson (a Kiwi actor) would go on to become Man-Wolf. Raimi himself had his excessive cameo, and Bruce Campbell was swell, as usual, as the bouncer. Clearly, the final scenes lead us to believe we know the main threat in the third film, but I wouldn't be surprised if he lays low, with Spidey fighting other foes first, before taking action. [In fact, the buzz is that Raimi is using Conners' Lizard as the main threat in the first part of Spider-Man 3, with Goblin returning to seal the deal in the last third...as Hobgoblin? We;ll see... still no word about Sandman and Chameleon, the latter being the original villain from the first film before rewrites at the last minute.] There was a clever reference to Maguire's aborted attempt at a salary negotiation, due to "back pain" in one of the falling sequences, which I thought was good stuff. The headline that read "Spider-Man Helps Doc Ock Rob Bank" also had a sub-headline: "Can chronic back pain lead to brain shrinkage?" which throws a little more salt in the wound. Another odd little tidbit, which I hadn't noticed in my viewing, was Parker asking Watson if she "still lived in the Village" which apparently was a reference to her ditching M. Knight Shamalyan's film in order to do Spider-Man 2.

Other fun details: J. Jonah Jameson references Dr. Strange in the discussion over what to name the latest villain, which was kind of cute, just after remarking wryly at the odds that Dr. Octavius would end up with 8 arms. Little references to the naivete and style of silver age Marvel were welcome inside references for comic fans. Tony's Pizza's address was technically Dr. Strange's address in the comics, and of course, Peter's landlord, Mr. Ditkovosky is a reference to co-creator Steve Ditko, who's partner in early marvel was the ubiquitously present Stan Lee, here seen saving innocent miniskirted women from falling stone chunks. Hmmm...though it was oddly disjointed editing that Peter was served cake in silence by the landlord's hot but freakishly skinny blonde daughter, it made me wonder if there was a sub-plot of sloppy post-MJ romance budding with her that was edited out... after all, Parker loses the blonde Gwen Stacy in a battle with Goblin in the comics, trying to web her in her fall from Goblin's glider, but accidentally snapping her neck in the process. I also liked how the weird street violist was performing the 70's theme song, dead-panned. IronLung mentioned how this movie pummeled the Matrix sequels for action and creativity in FX... howd'ja like the run-and-leap-to-test-the-powers sequence lifted right out of the first Matrix? While we're on a roll, thanks to the magic of the internet, here are more details that I wouldn't have likely noticed on the 100th viewing: Molina was doing Fiddler on the Roof on Broadway during filming, and while doing one of the scenes of Ock climbing a building, the FX team heard him humming it, and moved the animatronic arms in motion to the song. Good stuff! Also, the newspaper headlines were chonologically consistent to the events in the film, referencing concerns over the aging train's safety, for example, prior to the train sequence. I love details like this. Dare I mention that Raimi roomed with the Coen Brothers in college. I do so dare!

I did like some of the Raimi-ish camera shots in this film that have been missing from his last few films: the pan-back of the shelving in that pivotal forshadowing scene, the madcap frenetic action of the surgery sequence that was straight out of Army of Darkness, and the use of newspaper headlines and seemingly endless MJ postbills to hammer home elements of the story in mixed media. We even had some of Raimi's first-person monster cam POV shots, this time in the form of tentacle camera feeds. Raimi seemed to really enjoy this one, despite the over-sentimentality of all of the MJ/Aunt May/ freaky Uncle Ben dream sequences from the set of the SleeStack Lair in Land of the Lost... overall, I found the filmaking more inspired this time around.

There were also some sound FX that, even without the IMAX business, made all the difference in the world in building the ambience of the story. Octavius' tentacles were technologically rational and realized, as a spinal assembly of individual components, like those wooden snake toys, and they clacked with the creepy sound of ball bearings or cogs tumbling along that evoked the ominous rattlesnake warning. When Ock was on approach, Raimi took a page from the first Jurassic Park, and we felt, as the characters did, the low-frequency booms of his advancing legs hammering the building as he climbed. It was a great way of developing not only a fantastic impression of how powerful the villain was, but also the verticality of these skyscraper settings. He was climbing Marvel's infinitely tall mid-town highrises, and they had incredible scale to them. Spidey's malfunctioning webs had that gooey impotent sound, which was, um, effective. And finally, this robot has a particular weakness for the sound of mangling metal, and with all of the imploding pocket suns and angry arm thrashing and object tearing, there were more mangled metal sounds in this film than ever (not enough dying robot sounds, but that's a rarely realized pleasure.)

Despite the sluggish second act, I thought the action sequences were of the best we've seen in a super-hero flick. I hold back from IronLung's proclamation that this was the bestest ever, because it was uneven in pacing, and often over-simplifies potentially complex relationships by going for the quiver-lip. Filming was in progress before the script was finished, and it sometimes showed.

There was far too much out-of-mask time for Spider-Man (some were necessary and effective, such as his collapse on the train and the Osbourne reveal, but the rest were gratuitous, setting the third film up to be a mess, with everyone except Aunt May knowing his identity.) In general, character development suffered from the script's reliance on comic short-hand, that viewers would be so familiar with these themes that characters could be written fairly broadly, but then at other times, thematic lessons were hammered home incessantly.

That said, the action in this film was unbelievable, and the little details really made the experience magical for a comic fan. While I do contend that Unbreakable remains the best super-hero flick of all time, from a thematic perspective, and Hellboy kicked more ass from a stylistic perspective, this film was far more successful at bridging the audience gap between fan-boys and Family Circus. With Batman Begins and hopefully Watchmen around the corner, Spider-Man 2 may have some competition in IronLung's eyes, but for now, if you are a comic fan, or interested in an engaging summer escapist movie, check it out.

Just not at San Francisco's IMAX.

8/10 Clicks

So says Wrongrobot!


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Third Rail Design Lab- Comics and Sequential Art + Cyberpunk RPG resources

San Francisco Bay Area VW Karmann Ghia Sightings moblog

Wrongrobot's Permanently Robotic Links! Comic Illustration Links:
[artistic genius] Masamune Shirow Shrine
Masamune Shirow FAQ and Bio
Masamune Shirow - Art Style
Masamune Shirow Hyperpage

Losstarot: SFTU!

Alphaworks Online: David Tran

Studio Kosen



Itch Studios: Sam Liu
D.O.A.- Carlos Pacheco Art
Itch Studios: PSG version 6.0
Eduardo Risso Website
Inking Artists & Answers
Terra Major: Lord Takeyama
Michael Avon Oeming's Powers Site
n o w h e r e g i r l .. an online comic
Pop Mahn's Site
The Art of Adi Granov
Get Your War On!
The Art of Phil Noto
Comic Art Community
GFXartist.com Member Gallery
Brad Green's Website
deviantART Illustration Community
Elsevilla @ DeviantART
Nati @ DeviantART
-Seed- @ DeviantART
Todd and Craig's Perphanauts
McWolf 105
Diesel Sweeties: Pixelated Web Comic
Penny Arcade
Natalie Dee!
Monkey Box
Words and Pictures Museum
Micro-Heros Animated GIFs

Comic Industry Links

Footnote Comics
ADF The Andy Diggle Forum: The Losers
Isotope Lounge Forum
Newsarama at View Askew
Superhero Hype! - Calling All Heroes
The Small Press Magazine - News
The Comic Boards
Comicon's Pulse
Comic Book Resources
Comic Book Galaxy
Arthur Magazine
Broken Frontier

Music and Audio Technology Links:

Eclectic Honey

[ electronic ] titles at Aquarius Records
Follow Me Around- Radiohead Site
Green Plastic Radiohead
At Ease/ Radiohead
Mix of the Week
Art of the Mix
UBL's Artist Direct
Radiohead vs Matrix
Play Louder e-zine
TV Commercial Music Database
Rock Critics.com Top 5 Lists
Lyred Lyrics Database

Minidisc T-Station Forum

Gnod Relative Database
Music Stack
Tycho's Site

Design Links:
SpaceHijackers: Architecture

General Links:
Carpool Cheats.org

National Security Archive

Binary Translator

Satirical Propaganda Posters

Eccentric Genius: Miniature Siege Engines

Blogging Friends of Robot Links:

may*star: girl + designsTemplate Root: Maystar Designs maystar designs