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This is one of the three featurettes(and one of the two that are about 15 minutes long, with credits) on the Special Edition DVD of Spider-Man 2, dealing with aspects in some way related to that film. It consists of interviews, panels/frames from the comics, and clips from both movies. They go into the women in Peter's life, the massive impact they have on him and his actions, and what they're like. The choice was made to base this on the original graphic novels, rather than the flicks, so there's a lot more depth explored(I suppose in defense of the two silver screen releases one could point out that they, put together, have about four hours to develop what the written stories had many issues to work with). Lee is excellent to listen to as always, and everyone has genuinely interesting and worthwhile stuff to say. The pacing is good, this is never boring. Fans who read the first run of the title character may know a lot of what they talk about here, but in that case, you probably also dig Stan the Man, and in that case, you certainly will also enjoy this. I recommend this to anyone that wants to watch it. 7/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This documentary on the second disc of the Spider-man 2 boxed set
explores the relationships Peter Parker/Spider-Man has with 5 different
women, one of whom is a relative, one who is not even in Spider-Man 2
and another who is in the film but not in the comics.
Aunt May is first. Petey's surrogate mother, frail but headstrong, it seems Parker may have gotten his super-powers from a radioactive spider, but he got his strength in character from dear old Aunt May. It's a bit of a blow to here the actress who plays her, Rosemary Harris, say that May probably thinks her nephew is a bit of a wimp. Ouch! Of course in the comics, May, together with her best friend Anna Watson played matchmaker to Peter and Mary-Jane. So that brings us nicely to the most the love of his life, party girl MJ Parker as played by Kiki Dunst. The characters memorable introduction in Amazing Spider-Man # 42 is recounted, and lo and behold, actress Donna Murphy - who plays the non-comic character of Rosalie Octavius - manages to get a word in edge-ways for what seems like the first time on the entire DVD (even though she is talking about the Peter/MJ romance instead of her own character).
Another mainstay in Peter's life is Betty Brant, who is mentioned here as being the first woman he dated in the comics (though some say that was Liz Allan). In the films however, Peter only has eyes for MJ, meaning actress Elizabeth Banks only gets a few scenes at the Daily Bugle offices in each outing. According to Banks, Betty is 'one of Parker's cheerleaders. Now I was pleasantly surprised to see this doc spent quite a bit of time and effort on the other great love of Spider-Man's life (no, not the Black Cat): Gwen Stacy. This being despite the fact that Gwen didn't appear on screen until part three (played by Opie Cunningham's little girl), something which wouldn't have been a given at the time this documentary was made. Stan Lee explains that no matter how hard he tried, he never managed to make Gwen more interesting than MJ. Gwen was more into studying while Mary-Jane was into dancing and having fun. The filmmakers come to the conclusion that the film version of MJ is a cross between the two characters (and indeed the film version of Gwen in part 3 turned into a clone of MJ, also being a successful model, actress and singer.
Last and probably least is a character that was invented for the movie series: Ursula, the Russian landlord's daughter (Mageina Tovah). It never becomes quite clear what Sam Raimi and friends were intending to do with this new character. She obviously had a bit of a crush on Peter, offering him chocolate cake and milk when he's down. Perhaps she would have had a better chance if Gwen hadn't turned up in the third installment? Oh well, there's always part four on the horizon I suppose. And naturally, the Spidey-3 DVD featured a follow up documentary called 'Tangled Web: The Love Triangles Of Spicer-Man 3.
7 out of 10
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