Friday, October 01, 2004


So, now I’m facing a dilemma – work is getting tough, I’ve just embarked on a college certificate course with Open University (Humanities) in an effort to keep my mind working, and I’m trying to sort myself out so that by the end of October I have a license and a car (albeit a small, old, shaky car – but a car, nonetheless!). So, what’s the dilemma, I hear you ask…? Well, my dilemma is that I am probably the laziest person in the world. Ok, maybe lazy is the wrong word, but unmotivated, certainly! And can I force myself to care enough about this course, this work, and this car to actually make the constant effort and follow it all through to the end???

Work is fine, because I always work hard (makes the day go quicker), but the college bit is the bit that scares me – it’s costing so much, and on top of the car I’m going to be in nothing but debt for the next few months.

Then there’s the work involved – budgeting for petrol, paying for insurance, paying for college, DOING the actual assignments for college! It’s going to be crazy, but hopefully all worth it at the end. Hopefully!

Anyway, on another note, the huge conference thing is next week – so I’ve to pull out all the stops for that one and sort myself out. Oh, the pressures of adult life! I took a day off during the week, and I was reminded of how it felt when I worked in the Irish Film Centre (now Institute) and went (occasionally) to Maynooth…just strolling around while everyone else was at work – not a care in the world! Happy days indeed!

Spiderman 2

Director: Sam Raimi
Starring: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst & Alfred Molina
Screenplay: Stan Lee, Steve Ditko (comic) & Alvin Sargent (script

Sam Raimi has managed the impossible – turning a wishy-washy first Spidey outing containing too much dialogue and too little serious action into a franchise worthy of Tolkien-like kudos. And, like the Lord of the Rings movies, the second one is even better than the first.

It introduces a nemesis that greatly surpasses the frankly derisive Green Goblin – the enigmatically named Doctor Otto Octavius who (no loss of irony here) becomes a mechanical beast bearing eight limbs – and plays Peter’s conscience and scientific mind against Spiderman’s heroic calling. Though frankly flawed (it’s hardly an art piece) the movie manages to grip you in ways the first failed – dragging you along with it’s action packed trajectory, making you laugh with it’s nods and winks to the audience and pulling you into a New York where a hero protects and serves.

Raimi mixes musical medleys and soft focus freeze frames (comic book tricks) to give it an overall ‘B-movie’ effect sadly lacking in the first. The spate of comic-to-film transformations over the last few years has created a black hole of talent (‘Daredevil’ anyone?) where comic books are not seen as the escape they were, but simply a chance to cash in on merchandising and throw out a simple kids movie. What makes ‘Spiderman’ so special is that it crosses over the levels and draws all ages. It does not pander, in the Disney sense, to balmy morals (though they are there) and simple story. Spiderman is torn by his inner demons and fights constantly with real life issues as well as the occasional grotesquely deformed and predatory archrival.

The film has downfalls, but they’re not fatal, and genuinely comic (excuse the pun) moments pull things back from the precipice whenever Aunt May goes into one of her ‘this-is-what-they-pay-me-for’ dialogue moments. ‘Spiderman’ performs well, and is as believable and enjoyable as any franchise that relies on a scientific disaster every year to create it’s story. Smart cameos from Bruce Campbell and Stan Lee keep things rolling nicely – though the inevitable conclusion, also like Lord of the Rings, looses the run of itself and unravels some of the good work done. However, great performances and even better action keep this movie at the level deserving of Spidey – swinging high and in anticipation of the next.

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