Steak And Spiderman
by Tim O'Connell
I know a couple of you are waiting to find out what’s happening with our boy Jack and the werewolves and as soon as I figure it out, you’ll be the second to know.
This weekend we drove down to Ft. Collins CO to see Spiderman 3. We were hoping to catch it in IMAX. The theater is called the Super Gonzo Cineplex Mega Corp “Imax” complex so we figured it would be a good bet. Unfortunately they never built the IMAX and whoever designs their web page never got the news. The manager was nice enough to be apologetic and offered us passes to any other movie if we wanted to double feature it. So we bought tickets and had lunch at the Texas Roadhouse across the parking lot.
Now, I normally sneer at any of the various themed restaurants. I’ve gotten enough crappy food at Outback, Chili’s, Applebee’s, Red Lobster, Olive Garden…you know the ones. You wait at least half an hour for your little electronic hoodoo to flash and vibrate to tell you your table is ready and then you wait forever for your appetizers until you think you’re going to starve and then they bring the appetizer and the main course at the same freaking time. That will cut a tip to 5% faster than the ribs with ½ inch of rub on them I got at Outback once.
I’ve eaten at no less than four different Texas Roadhouses in three different states and every one of them has had the same outstanding service and really tasty food. Yesterday was no exception. We did have to take a booth in the bar and we were too close to the kitchen, but our waiter/bartender, Quinn, made tending bar while waiting on no less than eight tables seem simple. When we didn’t have our appetizers after five minutes he went back to the kitchen and apparently cooked it himself in less than two minutes because he came back out with them in hand. Our drinks never came close to being empty and I was drinking ½ iced tea and ½ lemonade and most places normally mess up THAT combination as a matter of course. Not the Roadhouse.
I’ve never had a bad meal there. From steaks, to ribs, to the pulled pork sammich I had yesterday. The food has always been excellent. They smoke a lot of their dishes and none of the smoked things ever have that dipped in liquid smoke aftertaste. They really just let their food just get all smokey the old fashioned way. And their sauce has a bite without blasting your head off.
As for the movie, I’m still not sure if it was the best of the series so far or the worst. There were too many bad guys. The pacing was manic. They tried to lay the backstories well enough, but everything was happening so fast that you really didn’t care. That may be my biggest complaint about the fight scenes. There was so MUCH happening on the screen that when it was over you had to ask yourself, what just happened there? The effects and CGI were too slick. My other problem with the fight scenes is simply, “Spiderman is NOT Superman, he gets hurt dammit!!!”
Toby Maguire read the script and then cranked it up another notch. Instead of throwing away the corny scenes where the black goo makes him overly aggressive, he grabbed ahold of them and rode them for all they were worth. His dedication to the character made those scenes hilarious when they could have been just plain dumb. That shows me a lot bout him.
Kirstin Dunst. She’s annoyed me in everything she’s done since Small Soldiers so I’m not the guy to ask. I can’t put my finger on it. All I know is that I’d rather seen almost anyone else on screen than her. She’s never been MJ to me.
Topher Grace becomes Venom at some point in the movie. He’s another one. If I never saw him in anything again, I’d be cool with that. But then again, he’s supposed to be a petulant brat so I guess it worked for him.
Thomas Haden Church as Sandman worked for me. When I first heard he got the role I was all, “He’s too skinny!” but apparently a LOT of time with a good trainer fixed that. I’m always impressed when someone puts that much muscle on because I know from experience; it takes a ridiculous amount of work and a small fortune in protein powder.
The movie runs 2 hours and 20 minutes and my butt was ready to go at the 2 hour mark. The action scenes went by fast and furious, which just made the “character development” scenes all the more snooze-worthy. It’s like the Anakin Skywalker and Princess Amidalla scenes in Star Wars II (Titanic in Space). I’ve met Luke and Leia, I can guess what happens next, mmmm’k? But I guess it needs to be in there for people like my wife who’ve never read comic books.
All in all it was a good way to start the summer movie slam. Boyo, 11, seemed to have more fun than me and his Mom so that should tell you a lot. The only other real annoyance was all the product placement in the movie. Everything you see on the shelves at Walmart? It’s alllllll in the movie.
We're looking forward to the rest of the Summer Movie Season. The final chapter of Pirates of the Caribbean, Shrek the Third, another DieHard. Which one are you looking forward to? Why?