Why I Haven’t Seen Spider-man 3

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I know Spider-man 3 made $148 million last weekend. I know. My fingers are clammy and twitchy because I know I should be blogging about it. I just really, really don’t want to see it.

I enjoyed the first one a lot. The second one I kind of white-knuckled my way through — I had to fast-forward (16X!) my way through the wise, melancholy Aunt May bits and the agonized, conflicted Harry Osborn bits (where is the funny, no-bull James Franco of yore?) and the logic-free pseudo-science mad scenes of Doc Ock. For sloppy plot mechanics and way-overblown motivational backstory, I have had few more painful moviegoing experiences.

And Spider-man 3 — for all its amazing cast (my fondness for Tobey Maguire is a matter of public record) and, yes, its great director — shows so many of the same warning signs. It’s wildly overstuffed with three villains, each of whom, I just know, will have his own lugubrious, rushed-but-still-too-long psychological exposition. From what I hear there’s a lot of crying. I’m getting too old to sit through movies where you, the viewer, have to “pay” for each high-carbon CGI action sequence with a lengthy bit of sensitive dialogue. I’m at peace with my need to be adrenalized/amused by movies, I don’t need to do penance for it by sitting through the boring grown-up artsy bits.

I’ll be interested to see how Spider-man 3 does on the second weekend. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a steep drop-off. I’m still waiting for somebody to turn up who’ll tell me, in good faith, that they loved every minute of it. When that happens, I’ll go. Probably. Or maybe I’ll wait for the DVD.

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