I too saw the midnight showing of Spider-Man 3. Fun movie, even if it does have its flaws.
I do like how the crowd I saw it with was totally into it. Stan Lee got a round of applause. Bruce Campbell got a crazy ovation. The initial Venom transformation got a round of applause. Even that one bit at the Jazz Club towards the end where Peter does that thing he immediately regrets got a huge applause despite the fact that it was meant to be serious.
There are some groan-inducing scenes, though. I can understand why people wouldn’t like it.
Keep in mind, with the novelization, I thought it was quite good. It’s just that Raimi decided to cut out a lot of stuff and I’m not sure I agree with what he decided on.
Below is a list of most of the stuff that was either cut out of the movie, or Peter David just snuck into his version of the story. If a lot of this stuff is included in the eventual Spider-Man 3.1, I’ll be sure to pick up a copy. It may not be an improvement the level of Kingdom of Heaven, but I’m sure it would be an overall improvement nonetheless.
Remember, this is spoiler-heavy. So don’t go complaining to me because you accidentally read about the scene where Spider-Man defeats Venom by playing the entire guitar solo from Freebird and the rent-crazed landlord reveals himself to be Dormammu in disguise.
- At the play, Peter tries to catch up to Harry, but there are people in his way. Since nobody’s looking, he hops up, bounces off the wall and continues. Nobody notices. Then, when he’s trying to talk to Harry and explain his side of the story, Harry almost considers it. Then Harry looks into the reflection of the car window and sees his father, telling him not to.
- Once back at the mansion, Harry’s butler insists he has some milk to help sleep. Harry freaks out and smacks the milk out of the butler’s hand, shattering the glass across the floor. Harry buries his head into his hands for a moment and looks up, to find his butler and the mess gone. Either the butler cleaned it up fast, or Harry’s going completely mental. In Harry’s mind, Norman walks into the room and they discuss the whole Goblin thing. Harry tries to defend Peter and points out all the horrible things Norman did to people, like the guys he murdered. Norman spins the argument to his advantage and keeps Harry on his side, ending the scene with a hug.
- When Peter visits Aunt May early on, he stops before leaving to play on her piano. He’s horrible, but they have a good time. Then one of the neighbors yells at them and Peter decides to leave. I guess this is foreshadowing for the goofy jazz sequence.
- When Sandman sneaks into his ex-wife’s home, the novelization describes him as having a slice of bread in his mouth when she catches him, which proceeds to fall right out. Sure, it’s just a minor direction and has no bearing on the story, but the mental image of Thomas Hayden Church wide-eyed with a piece of bread falling from his mouth makes me chuckle. For shame, Raimi.
- The Sandman origin sequence is a lot more detailed, given enough padding to make it less random. The facility gets two extra scenes. One is before Flint breaks in, which has them explain what their experiment is and how important it is that they get it done that night. I can’t remember if it’s mentioned in dialogue or narration, but it ties in with the facility Green Goblin attacked early on in the first movie. The other scene is the aftermath, where the police explain to one of the scientists that Flint was snooping around. Despite the scent of the dogs, the police find no sign of Flint in the pit. The horrified and overwhelmed scientist keeps it to himself, but discusses with another scientist that if a human being had fallen into the pit during the experiment, he would have indeed died.
- When Mary Jane leaves Peter’s place as he goes to save Gwen, she runs into Ursula, the landlord’s daughter. Ursula ends up being the one to get MJ the job at the Jazz Club. Ursula asks MJ if she can sing, to which MJ shakes her head and says, “I don’t know.”
- The crane scene was definitely cut to pieces. While some of Gwen’s modeling stuff had more dialogue, there was a rather funny scene as she’s hanging on by the phone receiver. Right as she grabbed the phone, she had received a call.
“You’ve got the rockin’ sound of WKRQ! If you can name our last two ‘Two for Tuesday’ songs, you could be our grand-prize winner!”
“Help! I can’t hold on!”
“Right you are! Help and I Can’t Hold On! Pack your bags, ‘cause you’re going on a trip!”
There’s also more stuff with Eddie Brock here. When he tells Captain Stacy that he’s dating his daughter, Stacy reacts with, “Huh. She’s never mentioned you.”
Once Spider-Man saves Gwen, he faces the malfunctioning crane, trying to figure out how he’s going to stop it. Suddenly, all the power in the block goes out and the situation is finally under control.
After swinging away from Eddie Brock, Spider-Man stands on top a building, looks at his stomach and says, “Chunky?”
- After getting fired and while feeling the envy of Spider-Man’s success, MJ is confronted by a stranger who asks if she’s famous, as she looks familiar. MJ just kind of dismisses him.
- Some of the Eddie/Jameson dialogue got cut, including a great exchange.
“What’s that smell?”
“What kind of cologne is ‘Brock’?”
“No, sir. My name is Brock.”
“Why are you named after a cologne?”
Eddie kisses up to Jameson and when asked how much he wants his photos for, he allows Jameson to give him what he considers fair. Hence the $50 at the end of the scene, which apparently is far lower than what Eddie was comfortable with.
- At the Spider-Man appreciation ceremony, Peter runs into a little boy with toy web-shooters. After getting sprayed on, Peter shoots a little webbing on the kid’s shoe as the boy’s walking away. The kid sees the webbing, turns around and points to his mother that he just met Spider-Man. The mother sees some guy in a crappy suit nearby and figures that’s what he was talking about.
- The symbiote has more of a presence throughout the story, even if subtle. At one point, MJ cleans the black goop off of Peter’s shoe and tosses it out. The symbiote sneaks into the closet and at times, Peter would swear he saw the shadows move.
- There’s a scene where Sandman sneaks into the home of a scientist he had been writing to from prison. The scientist has been doing research on whatever disease Penny Marko has and Flint’s been trying to raise enough money for him to cure it. The guy tries to make it clear how money alone won’t promise a cure, but Sandman intimidates him into shutting up. It’s also shown that Sandman is able to demolecularize solid objects and put them back together the way they were (such as bags of money), which is kind of unnecessary. I don’t mind that that part got tossed.
- The first time Peter removes the black costume, it sticks to his skin, but he does get it off without too much effort. Later points of the story show that he has no problem removing it because the symbiote knows Peter will be back. The scene of Peter looking at the mirror with the black costume underneath briefly includes him seeing a lashing tongue in the reflection.
- Peter’s snapping at the landlord is much harsher and more of a rant about how nothing works.
- During the Symbiote Spider-Man vs. Sandman fight, Spider-Man unmasks himself to show how personal this is. I guess you can chalk it up to how impulsive the symbiote makes him, but I can understand why this was cut.
- When Peter talks to May after Sandman’s supposed death, he goes into great detail about what Spider-Man did, to the point that you’d have to be mentally retarded not to make the connection that he’s Spider-Man. Good cut.
- The scene where Harry remembers everything actually happens before Mary Jane comes over. Much like Gollum, he briefly conquers his fatherly delusions and decides that if Norman gets him to kill Peter, then it’s only a matter of time before he’s forced to kill MJ. Then he’ll be forced to kill anyone else who has ever wronged Norman Osborn, meaning that Harry will never be free. As MJ storms off, Harry begs her to stay, as he realizes what will happen to him when he’s left alone. Harry soon after submits to his father’s wishes.
- After the Symbiote Peter vs. Harry fight, Harry gets up and sees his face in a reflection. As Peter leaves, he hears the scream and says, “He deserved worse.”
- A hilarious Jameson scene is cut, which gives resolution to both the stress bit and Ted Raimi’s idiotic marketing project.
- Following up on his firing, Eddie goes to see Gwen to ask her out. Gwen wants nothing to do with him and explains that they’ve only gone on one date, not counting the time they bumped into each other at a coffee place. Gwen admits that they did kiss, but is confused when Eddie insists she told him that she loves him. Captain Stacy threatens to arrest Eddie and forces him off the premises. Eddie tries to make it look like he’s optimistic as he waves to the Stacys and jokingly skips away. Captain Stacy tells his daughter that she needs to be careful with how friendly she is towards some people.
- There’s a scene of Symbiote Peter asking out Gwen. Not really needed, since we got enough of his antics anyway.
- Eddie is shown at a bar, drinking his sorrows. The way the book explains it, this was probably meant to be part of a montage of plot goings on, which would have included that scene of Sandman’s return from being made of mud.
- After Peter hits Mary Jane, she is the one who figures out that this is all because of the black suit. This makes little sense and I’m glad they removed that piece.
- Eddie’s speech in the church is a lot longer, showing that he holds absolutely no responsibility for his own actions.
“Eddie Brock, sir. I’ve been wronged, and the woman I worship will have none of me. I don’t qualify as the perfect boyfriend, but… who does? I ask you, why do I have to suffer for everyone else’s imperfections? Why can’t I ever have what I want? What about me? What about Eddie? I try to do what’s right. I follow your rules. I obey the ‘thou shalt nots.’ I’m a decent person. I’m a decent person! So I come to you today, humbled, humiliated, to ask of you but one thing. I want you to kill Peter Parker.”
- Sometime after getting rid of the symbiote, Peter returns to the church to find any remains of the symbiote, since he was too weak to do anything after his victory but leave. He finds nothing.
- The scene of Venom aligning himself with the Sandman is very different. Sandman takes the form of a rather large sandcastle in a park, just as his ex-wife and daughter come by. Penny plays with the sandcastle briefly. When Penny and her mother aren’t looking for a moment, the sandcastle disappears. Venom talks to Sandman from the shadows, beneath a tree. He brings up Sandman’s family as conversation, not as a threat, but as a way to illustrate how bitter he is at what he feels Parker’s taken from him.
- In the webbed-up taxi, Mary Jane momentarily has a freakout session as she rants about how sick she is of being captured and put in these situations.
- Upon jumping on the taxi, Spider-Man’s first reaction to Mary Jane is to apologize for hitting her. She kind of laughs, considering how unimportant it is at the moment.
- As the news anchor explains that this may be the end of Spider-Man, we look back at the Osborn residence with the TV on. Zooming out, we see that the room is empty and I think the window is open.
- Harry goes up against Venom one-on-one for a round, not counting the impaling scene.
- Originally, Eddie Brock’s role in Venom is horribly downplayed. The most blatant is how when delivering the line about how Spider-Man shouldn’t wound what can’t be killed, the symbiote retracts to show that all that’s left of Eddie is a smoking skeleton, suggesting that Eddie may have been a dead puppet since the initial bonding. I’m sure the change in his role was brought on from test screening reactions.
- Sandman is pulled out of the fight by his daughter Penny. While certainly more depressing than what we got in the movie, she convinces him that there is no way to cure what she has, and therefore, there’s no reason to fight Spider-Man anymore. Sandman explains his role in the Ben murder, Peter forgives him and Sandman sneaks off to be with his family.
- The final scene of Peter dancing with Mary Jane is followed by a shot of Spider-Man swinging through New York while carrying MJ.
That looks to be about it. David wrote a lot of interior monologue/narration to explain character motivations better, such as how Peter feels his career as Spider-Man is based on a lie or how MJ feels horrible for feeling jealous of Spider-Man. There was also an emphasis on lizards during the Doctor Connors scene, which I don’t exactly recall in the movie.
Anyway, I’m going to sleep. Tomorrow I’m going to see what I can do about getting myself a symbiote. Peter’s montage looked fun as hell and I my piano skills could use a shot in the arm.