- the action sequences and CGI were genuinely incredible--I don't know if it was just because Australia was late getting Spiderman I and II and other big special effects movies had come out before them, but honestly I wasn't that blown away by the set pieces in I and II. But the Sandman was mesmerising in its effectiveness and the opening battle with New Goblin was incredibly fast and perfect. The out-of-control crane was another highlight. Loads of fun!
- Having Peter be a self-involved (if lovable) git to MJ totally helped me with her character. I've always found her somewhat insipid and annoying, despite loving Kirsten Dunst, but this movie successfully showed her sympathetic side. They get extra points from me for making that cute omelette-cooking scene with Harry; Harry's another one I've found it hard to warm too, but rebooted!Harry was actually charming and for the first time the love triangle worked for me for that reason.
- Black suit! I sooo much loved seeing Peter's dark side explored--temptation to the 'dark side' always hooks me in. ;-)
- Parallelism! Whee! Unlike some critics, I liked the multiple plots. Having Harry, Eddie and Peter, as well as the Sandman, all struggle with their darker sides totally worked for me. I was bored as all get out with the plots of the first two movies--this gave me way more to engage with.
- This leads to: unexpected symbolism and thematic unity. Something which the first two movies didn't score too well on, imo. But this time, I was engaged by the exploration of audience and fame (Peter and MJ both finding a balanced perspective by the end of the movie), and appreciated the way the movie played with the ideas of stage and audience and the way they 'frame' the protagonists, via the TV crew commentary or jokes from members of the crowd. I also loved the various visual portrayals of willpower: the Sandman forcing himself back together by sheer determination; Peter wrestling the black suit off.
- Humour! Yes, sometimes I was laughing at the movie or Peter, but in a good way. Hell, none of the movies have particularly good scripts, but at least they had some fun with this one. Of course the highlight, humour-wise, was Peter's eyeliner of emo--it came and went with the black suit! *lol* I loved it. And the whole sequence where he strutted his stuff down the street and in the bar had me gasping for breath at the hilarity. Emo chic! *rotfl* Running a close second was Harry's butler playing his card
- It was slashy and I cared for the first time ever. See above re. having trouble warming to Harry until now. I still didn't much care that he died, but I cared for Peter.
- Topher Grace! Topher was definitely a trump card in this movie for me. I'm awful fond of him, and not only because he cuddles Michael Rosenbaum. ;-) I thought he was very well cast as Eddie (it was Eddie?), the rival photographer, and his performance was heaps of fun--I was bouncy whenever he was on screen.
All in all, a fun night at the movies. Quote of the night from my bf (I swear, completely unprompted by me in any way): 'It's a good thing Peter doesn't have a minimalist style apartment... otherwise, you'd think he was gay!' Yes. Decor. That's what's standing in the way of that reading. *blinks*