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Old 04-23-2013, 02:07 PM   #70
Jimmy Scrambles
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Knowhere
Posts: 2,131
Default Re: Sam Raimi's Spider-Man Trilogy vs Christopher Nolan's Batman Trilogy

I'm going to have to go with Spider-Man, although I was let down by both franchises, as far as trilogies go. Spidey's third outing was the only misstep for that respective franchise, but I still find it entertaining on some level(at least up to the first hour or so), whereas TDKR is a chore for me to watch again.

I consider the first two films in both franchises to be good movies, but entertainment value is where they diverge for me; I just found Nolan's interpretation of the character to be hopelessly boring. I actually liked TDK the first time I watched it, so much so that I bought it on Blu-Ray(not to mention winning a costume contest as the Joker). With subsequent viewings; however, I've found that the entertainment value of the movie drops right off a cliff. Truthfully, when I watch it these days I can only stomach Ledger's scenes, and a few of Eckhart's. A well made film, the editing was solid, enjoyed the cinematography, but outside of Ledger's performance, everything else just bores me to tears. Nolan also can't direct a fight sequence to save his life.

Backpedalling to BB, I thought it lost traction after Bruce returned to Gotham. The portion of the film leading up to this was very well done; I really found myself rooting for Bruce as he went through his trials, but afterwards, I found the plot boring and uninspired for the remainder of the film. Terrible villain(s) as well. I think Scarecrow had potential, but I feel that he was actually underutilized and undeveloped. Ras coming back at the end was a poor choice IMO as well, seemed more like a "gotcha" for the audience rather than a well though out twist; the rest of the movie didn't even build up to it particularly well. Regardless, I can't say that I hate either of these movies. Nolan is a slick filmmaker(easily one of my contemporary faves); the guy hardly makes mistakes(TDKR being the noteworthy exception), but I can't give them my recommendation due them not being able to hold my interest.

WRT Spider-Man's first two outing, these films simply got a lot of things right IMO. For one, they've always managed to hold my interest due to how richly entertaining they are. Also, the pacing of both of these movies is about as good as it gets for the genre; they've always kept me on the edge of my seat when the tempo is high or invested in the characters and plot when the drama takes center stage. For the most part, the light-hearted humor is well done, the exception being when Raimi takes Peter's rotten luck a bit too far, i.e. the whole world stepping on his books, the closet/pizza delivery scene, never picking up a drink at the part, etc.

I also found that the characters are much better developed than in the corresponding Bat films. Peter's growth as a character was phenomenal in the first two films. Raimi, Maguire, and the writers all did an admirable job conveying Peter's progression through his adventures, relationships, professional life, and personal life. Bruce, by contrast, didn't seem to have as much conflict juggling the various aspects of his life. As for the female lead, this is where Spider-Man runs away with it for me. Of all the unpopular opinions I have regarding this whole topic, I'm sure this will take the cake for some, but here goes. Mary Jane's character was very well developed, arguably about as much as Peter was. From her professional struggles, to the men in her life, the family problems, and everything in between, the character was given a fairly large amount of care and attention IMO. I haven't always felt this way, but I have to admit that this was exclusively due to my disdain for her portrayal not being the Mary Jane I wanted: the sultry, fun-loving bombshell that I was familiar with. Realizing that Raimi's MJ was mostly of his own design, I have to judge the character on what she was intended to be, and in that respect I think that she was handled quite well, barring the overused damsel in distress plot device, of course.

There's more to it of course, but I'm about out of time; maybe I'll revisit this later with some more points, but the tl;dr of it is that I found the Spider-Man movies more entertaining on every level, the characters were more engaging, and the action is head and shoulders above the TDK trilogy.

Neither franchise has been what I'd call ideal, however. I'd say that the best trilogy I've seen in recent years is Bourne, and by a very far cry. I'd love to see a CBM franchise deliver the goods as these movies have. These films kept getting better and better, upping the ante in each entry without managing to get redundant, self-indulgent, pretentious, ostentatious, or any other objection I had with either Raimi or Nolan's franchises.

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