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Review by Melinda Ledman
Review by Benn Becker
Review by Mike Furches
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Synopsis and Review
Review by Mike Furches
Review by Annette Wierstra
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About this Film
Spiritual Connections

Columbia Pictures' Spider-Man® 2, the next installment in the adventure series that began with the 2002 blockbuster Spider-Man, swings into theaters on July 2, 2004. Spider-Man®, a Marvel Enterprises/Laura Ziskin Production, grossed more than $820 million worldwide and became the fifth highest grossing movie in U.S. history. Spider-Man is based on the classic Marvel Comic book character.

Spider-Man 2 reunites the filmmakers and cast from the first film, including Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Rosemary Harris and J.K. Simmons, along with director Sam Raimi, and producers Laura Ziskin and Marvel's Avi Arad. Stan Lee and Joseph M. Caracciolo serve as executive producers for Spider-Man 2, and Grant Curtis serves as the film's co-producer. Sam Raimi directs Spider-Man 2 from a screenplay by Alvin Sargent and Alfred Gough & Miles Millar and Michael Chabon, based on a story by David Koepp and Alfred Gough & Miles Millar. In Spider-Man 2, the webslinging superhero encounters a new nemesis, the villainous "Doc Ock," who will be portrayed by Alfred Molina (Frida, Identity).

Two years have passed, and the mild-mannered Peter Parker faces new challenges as he struggles with "the gift and the curse," desperately trying to balance his dual identities as the web-slinging superhero Spider-Man and his life as a college student. Tormented by his secrets, Peter finds that his relationships with all those he holds dear are in danger of unraveling. His life-long yearning for M.J. (Kirsten Dunst) becomes even stronger as he fights the impulse to reveal his secret life and declare his love. His friendship with Harry Osborn (James Franco) is complicated by the young Osborn's bitterness over his father's death and his growing vendetta against Spider-Man. Even Peter's beloved Aunt May (Rosemary Harris), who has fallen on hard times after the death of Uncle Ben, begins to have doubts about her nephew.

Peter's life is about to become even more complicated as he encounters a formidable new foe -- Dr. Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina). Peter must use all the powers at his disposal to try to stop this diabolical madman in his octagonal tracks.

Director Sam Raimi and producers Laura Ziskin and Avi Arad lead a top creative team which includes Director of Photography Bill Pope, ASC (the Matrix film series), Production Designer Neil Spisak (Spider-Man, The Gift), editor Bob Murawski, (Spider-Man, The Gift), Visual Effects Supervisor John Dykstra, ASC (Spider-Man, Academy Award® winner for Star Wars) and Special Effects Supervisor John Frazier (Spider-Man, The Perfect Storm). The Executive Producers are Stan Lee and Joseph M. Caracciolo.

"ACADEMY AWARD®" and "OSCAR®" are the registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

TOBEY MAGUIRE (Peter Parker/Spider-Man) starred in Spider-Man as the iconic webslinging superhero, opposite Kirsten Dunst and Willem Dafoe. Directed by Sam Raimi, the film earned $114.8 million in its opening weekend, making it the largest domestic opening of all time, going on to gross over $800 million in worldwide box office.

Maguire recently starred in Universal's Seabiscuit, directed by Gary Ross. Based on Linda Hillenbrand's best-selling nonfiction book of the same name, Seabiscuit tells the true story of the legendary 1930s racing horse who, with the collaboration of his jockey (Maguire), trainer (Chris Cooper) and owners (Jeff Bridges and Elizabeth Banks), was able to beat the odds to win horse racing honors during the depression. Maguire also served as executive producer, with Gary Ross's Larger Than Life and Kennedy Marshall co-producing. Maguire has an exclusive two year, first-look film production deal with Sony Pictures. He made his first outing as producer this year by teaming with producer Julia Chasman and Industry Entertainment's Nick Wechsler on a big-screen adaptation of David Benioff's novel The 25th Hour for the Walt Disney Co. His most recent film credits include: Curtis Hanson's Wonder Boys, opposite Michael Douglas; Lasse Hallstrom's Oscar nominated The Cider House Rules, opposite Michael Caine; Ang Lee's Civil War drama Ride With The Devil opposite Skeet Ulrich, Jeffrey Wright and Jewel. In his first film with Lee, The Ice Storm, Maguire received critical notice for his performance as Paul Hood, a philosophical, bright mid-1970s teen. Maguire co-starred with Kevin Kline, Sigourney Weaver, Joan Allen and Christina Ricci. In the Gary Ross-directed fantasy-adventure Pleasantville, Maguire starred with Reese Witherspoon as bickering siblings who are magically transported into the world of a wholesome 50s era sitcom.

Maguire first gained attention with his critically acclaimed performance in the Academy Award® nominated short film Duke of Groove. Directed by Griffin Dunne, the film also starred Kate Capshaw, Uma Thurman and Kiefer Sutherland.

Maguire went on to appear in Woody Allen's literary satire Deconstructing Harry opposite Allen, Kirstie Alley, Demi Moore, Judy Davis, Billy Crystal and Robin Williams.

KIRSTEN DUNST (Mary Jane Watson) has catapulted her way into the spotlight by capturing the most coveted roles around town. She most recently starred in the record-breaking, box office smash Spider-Man, opposite Tobey Maguire and Willem Dafoe. Directed by Sam Raimi, Spider-Man earned $114.8 million in its opening weekend, making it the largest domestic opening of all time.

In addition to Spider-Man, Dunst recently starred in the independent film Levity, opposite Billy Bob Thornton and Morgan Freeman. She can next be seen in Mike Newell's Mona Lisa Smile, starring with Julia Roberts and Julia Stiles, as well as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, written by Charlie Kauffman, directed by Michel Gondry and starring Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet and Mark Ruffalo. Both films will be released this Winter. Dunst portrayed Marion Davies opposite Edward Hermann's William Randolph Hearst in Lions Gate Entertainment's The Cat's Meow, a semi-biographical murder mystery directed by Peter Bogdanavich. She will begin shooting the tennis comedy Wimbledon this summer opposite Paul Bettany.

Dunst's performances in Universal's comedy Bring it On, which opened number- one at the box office, and the critically acclaimed Virgin Suicides with James Woods and Kathleen Turner, made critics and fans alike stand up and take notice of her blossoming talent. In 2001, she won rave reviews for her role as a troubled girl in Disney's Crazy/Beautiful.

With a growing list of accolades befitting an actress 10 years her senior, Dunst was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance in Interview with the Vampire, for which she also received the Blockbuster Video Award for Best Supporting Newcomer, an MTV award for Best Breakthrough Artist and the Saturn Award for Best Young Actress. Dunst recently received an MTV award for Best Actress for her role in Spider-Man, and shared an additional Best Kiss MTV honor with Tobey Maguire, for their memorable lip lock in the film. Earlier in her career, Dunst was named by The Hollywood Reporter as Best Young Star for her portrayal of a teenage prostitute in NBC's hit series, ER.

Dunst's other motion picture credits include starring roles in Drop Dead Gorgeous with Ellen Barkin and Kirstie Alley; Dick with Michelle Williams; Little Women with Susan Sarandon and Winona Ryder; Jumanji with Robin Williams; Mother Night with Nick Nolte; the Golden Globe-nominated Barry Levinson film Wag The Dog starring Dustin Hoffman and Robert De Niro; and Small Soldiers with the late Phil Hartman.

Dunst got her showbiz start at the tender age of three, when she began filming television commercials. With more than 100 commercials under her belt, she made the jump to the big screen in 1989 in Woody Allen's New York Stories. After moving to Los Angeles with her family that same year, Dunst's film career really took off. Dunst's career has not been limited to the big screen. In addition to a critically acclaimed recurring role on the hit television drama ER, she starred in Showtime's The Outer Limits and Devil's Arithmetic, produced by Dustin Hoffman and Mimi Rogers; the telefilm Ruby Ridge: An American Tragedy; the Wonderful World of Disney's Tower of Terror; and Lifetime Television's 15 and Pregnant.

Dunst, a Point Pleasant, NJ native, currently lives in Los Angeles. She is active in charity organizations such as the Pediatric AIDS Foundation and is always happy to attend functions that benefit women and children.

JAMES FRANCO (Harry Osborn) received a Golden Globe Award for his critically acclaimed performance in the title role of the TNT film James Dean, directed by Mark Rydell. His portrayal of Dean also earned him an Emmy nomination as well as a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination. With Spider-Man 2, Franco reprises his role as Harry Osborn, having portrayed the character in Spider-Man.

Franco will next be seen in Robert Altman's The Company, opposite Neve Campbell, and in John Dahl's The Great Raid, with Benjamin Bratt. He most recently starred in Nicolas Cage's directorial debut Sonny, as well as in City by the Sea opposite Robert DeNiro, directed by Michael Caton-Jones. His other film credits include the Martin Scorsese-produced film Deuces Wild, Whatever It Takes and Never Been Kissed. On television, Franco starred in NBC's critically acclaimed series Freaks and Geeks.

Franco resides in Los Angeles.

ALFRED MOLINA (Dr. Octavius) is an accomplished and versatile actor with over fifty film, television and theatre productions to his credit.

Molina recently starred as Diego Rivera in Frida, opposite Salma Hayek, Edward Norton, Geoffrey Rush and Ashley Judd. His performance earned him Best Supporting Actor nominations from BAFTA, the Screen Actors Guild, the Chicago Film Critics Association and the Broadcast Critics Association. Molina also appeared in the recent Columbia Pictures thriller Identity, opposite John Cusack, Ray Liotta and Amanda Peet; and in Plots With A View, with Brenda Blethyn, Naomi Watts and Christopher Walken. He appeared opposite Juliet Binoche and Johnny Depp in director Lasse Hallstrom's critically acclaimed Chocolat, as the narrow minded mayor of a small French town.

Molina made his movie debut with a small role in Raiders of the Lost Ark and had a notable role as a Soviet sailor in Letter to Brezhnev. His breakthrough role came in 1987 when he portrayed Kenneth Halliwell, the tragic lover of Joe Orton in Prick Up Your Ears. In 1998, Molina earned accolades for his powerful performance in Paul Thomas Anderson's film Boogie Nights, which won the Screen Actors Guild Award for outstanding performance by a cast in a theatrical motion picture. His other films include The Imposters, Anna Karenina, Species, The Perez Family, Maverick, Enchanted April, Pete's Meteor, Not Without My Daughter, Dudley Do-Right and Texas Rangers. For television, Molina served as a producer and actor for the CBS situation comedy Ladies Man, co-starring Sharon Lawrence and Betty White.

Molina made his Broadway debut in 1998 in the Tony winning play Art with Alan Alda and Victor Garber. In addition to his own Best Actor Tony nomination, he received a Drama Desk Award for his performance, and the production was honored with an Outer Circle Critics Award for best ensemble. He starred in the off-Broadway production of Molly Sweeney, for which he was honored with a Theatre World Award and a Drama Desk Award nomination for Most Outstanding Debut Performance. His other theatre credits include roles in two Royal National Theatre productions, Night of the Iguana, and David Mamet's Speed the Plow, for which he was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Comedy Performance; and Serious Money for the Royal Court Theatre and The West End. Molina also received an Olivier Award nomination for his performance in Oklahoma at the Palace Theatre. Molina is set to return to Broadway in January of 2004, starring in Fiddler on the Roof at the Minskoff Theater.

SAM RAIMI (Director) returns to helm a new adventure with one of the world's most popular comic book superheroes in Spider-Man 2, after directing the record-breaking worldwide phenomenon Spider-Man, starring Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst and Willem Dafoe. On May 3, 2002, Columbia Pictures released Spider-Man, which grossed 114.8 million in its opening weekend, making it the largest domestic opening of all time. To date, the film has surpassed 800 million in worldwide box office gross.

Raimi previously directed the supernatural thriller The Gift, starring Cate Blanchett, Hilary Swank, Keanu Reeves, Greg Kinnear and Giovanni Ribisi. Raimi also directed the acclaimed suspense thriller A Simple Plan, which starred Bill Paxton, Billy Bob Thornton and Bridget Fonda, and which earned Thornton an Academy Award® nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He also directed the baseball homage For Love of the Game, starring Kevin Costner and Kelly Preston. Raimi is producing the forthcoming thriller Boogeyman with partner Rob Tapert, which will be directed by Stephen T. Kay.

Known for his imaginative filmmaking style, richly drawn characters and offbeat humor, Raimi collaborated with Robert Tapert and Bruce Campbell on the cult classic The Evil Dead, written and directed by Raimi, produced by Tapert and starring Campbell. This horror film became an immediate cult hit at the Cannes Film Festival, and led to the equally impressive The Evil Dead II: Dead By Dawn, which was made under the auspices of the De Laurentiis Entertainment Group.

Raimi then proved his mastery over the mainstream fantasy thriller genre, writing and directing Darkman, starring Liam Neeson and Frances McDormand, which he followed up with Army of Darkness, a comic sword-and-sorcery fantasy starring Bruce Campbell. Raimi also served as executive producer for John Woo's Hard Target, and he co-wrote (with Joel and Ethan Coen) the feature film The Hudsucker Proxy, starring Paul Newman, Tim Robbins and Jennifer Jason Leigh. Raimi also directed the western The Quick and the Dead, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Sharon Stone, Russell Crowe and Gene Hackman.

Raimi's extensive television work includes the hit syndicated series Xena: Warrior Princess, which he executive produced with Rob Tapert. The highly successful series starring Lucy Lawless ran for six seasons. Raimi and Tapert also executive produced the enormously popular six-season Hercules: Legendary Journeys, and Raimi served as executive producer for the CBS series American Gothic.

Raimi's interest in filmmaking began as a youngster in Michigan, where he directed his own Super 8 films. Later, he left Michigan State University to form Renaissance Pictures with Rob Tapert and longtime friend and actor Bruce Campbell.

Review by Benn Becker
Review by Mike Furches
Best Posters
Trailers, Photos
—About this Film
Spiritual Connections

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