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Movie Review: "Spider-Man 3" and Open Thread: Cubs vs. Mets, Thursday 5/17, 12:10 CT

I had planned to do this long before the long rain delay last night, but Mark and I spent the early part of the evening at a DGA-sponsored screening of "Spider-Man 3". The screening ended, as it turned out, just about the time the first pitch was thrown at Shea Stadium Wednesday night.

"Good!", I thought. "I haven't missed a thing!"

Turns out, obviously, it would have been far better if I'd missed the entire 8-1 Cub loss to the Mets; as it was, I turned it off, extremely tired, a little after 11 pm CT when it was only 4-0. All I missed was the bullpen putting the game out of reach. Rich Hill didn't throw too badly -- the biggest mistake he made was hit by Damion Easley (and how that guy is still playing, I have no idea; among his rookie-year teammates was Bert Blyleven -- yes, no joking, go look it up at that link!) for a two-run homer.

There's not too much more to say about last night's game other than this: as good as the Cubs looked Tuesday night, that's as bad as they looked on Wednesday. That, unfortunately, is the sign of a classic .500 team. While .500 would still be a significant improvement over last year, it's not good enough. Let's hope they can still figure out how to put together a long winning streak, because the Brewers suddenly look beatable, having now lost four in a row themselves. The Central is there for the taking.

About the movie, most of the reviews you have read are pretty much dead-on. After making perhaps the best cartoon superhero movie ever three years ago, Sam Raimi has misfired this time. While the action sequences and CGI effects are again terrific, the story isn't. It leaps all over the place -- from corny romance (Mark said he didn't like "all the kissy scenes"; hey, what do you want? He's 11.) to goofy things such as Tobey Maguire in a jazz bar doing a ridiculous two-step, to villains whose raison d'etre doesn't really make sense. You've probably seen the "dark" Spiderman in trailers or promos -- the reason this came to be isn't really explained very well. It seems as if Raimi wanted to squeeze everything he possibly could into this movie, not knowing whether Maguire would be willing to do Spider-Man 4.

That's not a good enough motivation for this film. Kirsten Dunst looks at times bored with the whole thing. Topher Grace as a photographer who at first takes Peter Parker's job at the Bugle and then gets one-upped by Parker, giving him a motivation for revenge, is pretty good, but otherwise the movie's a little flat.


Now, let's get on with today's game and save a split in the series. The Cubs will come home under .500, but better one game under than three games under.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Angel Guzman
A. Guzman
vs. Jason Vargas
J. Vargas
0-0 W-L making
3.57 ERA his
17 SO 2007
4 BB season
1 HR debut
vs. NY -- vs. Cubs
I'm predicting another low-scoring, quickly-played affair, given that last night's game didn't end until nearly 1 am EDT; I hope that the Cubs had enough sense to let Angel Guzman stay at the hotel and rest, rather than sit out the delay at Shea. The only Met Guzman has ever faced is Moises Alou, who was placed on the DL in order to recall Jason Vargas, today's Met starter. Vargas faced the Cubs twice as a Marlin, going 1-0 with a 3.75 ERA, including this start on April 24, 2006, when he held the Cubs scoreless at Wrigley Field for six-plus innings, only to have the Marlins' bullpen give the Cubs six runs and the win.

I'd settle for that today. Incidentally, I think Guzman ought to have a new photo taken. That scowl doesn't make him look very good.

Finally, if the Cubs win today that will even the all-time series vs. the Mets at 332 wins each.

The game's on WGN today; if you can't get WGN but have EI, it should be there, too, via SNY, and also at the Mediacenter. Gameday (2007 version) Gameday (2006 version)

Discuss amongst yourselves.