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    "A fast, complex, exhilarating roadster ride through history and time.... Kino is an intoxicating Euro-brew, written with enormous skill and dedication." — Frederick Barthelme

    "Jürgen Fauth's deft mashup of genre and historical period is both a full-throttle literary thriller of ideas and a contemplative examination of film and fascism. Kino is a debut of great intellectual  force."– Teddy Wayne

    "A surprising alternative history. Kino brings the golden age of German cinema to light with loving, sometimes gritty, detail and great precision." – Neal Pollack, author of Jewball.

    "A delirious melange of conspiracy, magic, sex, history, bad behavior, and cinema, Kino is a stellar entertainment, and Jürgen Fauth is a writer of rare, sinister imagination." – Owen King, author of Reenactment

    "A light-hearted romp that leads straight into darkness and back through the shadows on the wall."– Ben Loory, author of Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day

    "Movie nuts arise! A happy and felicitous debut."– Terese Svoboda

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Spider-Man 3

The hype machine is in high gear, but for once there’s truth in advertising. As far as megabudget superhero adaptations go, Spider-Man 3 delivers exactly what it promises: more of the same. If you liked the first two installments, this is great news. Unlike the self-important Batman Begins, the Spider-Man movies know exactly what they are and what they want to be.

Again, Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, and James Franco engage in cheeseball humor and soapy storylines illustrating bromides like “everybody needs help sometimes.” As before, Sam Raimi’s crisp direction makes elaborate three-dimensional action set pieces as transparent as a few well-chosen comics panels would. Again, the bright color scheme, the iconic NYC locations, the funny bit players (J.K. Simmons and Mageina Tovah as Ursula), the swooping score, and the gee-whiz wholesomeness that leaves no doubt that this poppy entertainment is squarely aimed at kids.

There are three new villains: Franco turns into the hoverboard-surfing New Goblin, Sideways Thomas Hayden Church becomes the Sandman (who, by film’s end, looks like the Trash Heap from Fraggle Rock), and Topher Grace as Eddie Brock, who is covered with alien goo as Venom, the most wicked of the Spidey villains. Their tag-team battles are the most exciting of the series so far.

Peter Parker also undergoes some transformations. As a deft metaphor externalizing his anger and aggression, the alien symbiote colors Spidey’s costume black, and he ends up with a hipper haircut and a mean new attitude: the dweeb struts to a James Brown tune and turns into a sexual predator (or at least a dweeb’s idea of a sexual predator.) In mythic terms, the symbiote represents the Devil of the Tarot deck, but by the end of the movie, the Sun of forgiveness comes up over Manhattan. There’s room for plenty of sequels.

Spider-Man 3. Sam Raimi, 2007. ***

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4 Comments

  1. rozger

     /  April 30, 2007

    I walked through the set of this one when they were filming accross from the courthouses. Could you see me?

  2. Jordi

     /  April 30, 2007

    that’s fine for average comic fan. for Venom’s fans this going to be a great dissapointing. Only 20 minutes, is not fair

  3. jhoffman

     /  April 30, 2007

    I know this is gonna sound weird from a guy who is watching every Star Trek episode. . .but I couldn’t even make it through the trailer! I find all this stuff so. . .incredibly. . .BORING.

    I disliked the first film, gave in when everyone said the second one was terrific and disliked that, too. I shan’t be seeing this one.

    There’s just something about comic book heroes that makes my brain shut down. I know I’m missing out on some major cultural touchstones, but I just can’t get excited.

  4. Incredible Fulk

     /  February 18, 2009

    Thank you Jurgen. Someone else with a good point of view about this movie. I loved it. Many of my friends loved. But dumbass internet fans hate for dumb reasons. Like “he danced, he cried, Venom was nothing like the comics.” All of that was BULLSHIT!!!!! If they hate the movie for those reasons, then why do they watch movies. Thank you, Spiderman 3 rocks!!!!

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