There are two men, two acts and two results.
There is a solidarity of evil and a solidarity of good,
but the latter far surpasses the former.

Reviews by Mike Furches, Annette Wierstra and David Bruce


This page was created on February 10, 2002
This page was last updated on May 29, 2005


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Spiritual Connections

Synopsis and Review
Review by Mike Furches
Review by Annette Wierstra
Trailers, Photos
About this Film
Spiritual Connections

Directed by Sam Raimi
Writing credits (WGA) Stan Lee (comic book) David Koepp (screenplay)

Tobey Maguire .... Spider-Man/Peter Parker
Willem Dafoe .... Green Goblin/Norman Osborn
Kirsten Dunst .... Mary Jane Watson
James Franco .... Harry Osborn
J.K. Simmons .... J. Jonah Jameson
Michael Papajohn .... The Burglar
Randy Poffo .... Bone Saw McGraw
Joe Manganiello .... Eugene 'Flash' Thompson
Rosemary Harris .... Aunt May
Ted Raimi .... Hoffman
Cliff Robertson .... Uncle Ben Parker
Bill Nunn .... Joe 'Robbie' Robertson
Bruce Campbell .... Ring Announcer Stan Lee

Produced by
Avi Arad .... executive producer
Stan Lee .... executive producer
Ian Bryce .... producer
Laura Ziskin .... producer
Grant Curtis .... associate producer

Original music by Danny Elfman
Cinematography by Don Burgess
Film Editing by Arthur Coburn and Bob Murawski

Rated PG
For rating reasons, go to FILMRATINGS.COM, and MPAA.ORG.
Parents, please refer to PARENTALGUIDE.ORG

With Great Power,
There Must Also Come Great Responsibility

Orphaned at an early age, Peter Parker (Toby Maguire) lived in Queens, New York with his beloved Aunt May (Academy-Awards®) nominee Rosemary Harris) and Uncle Ben (Academy Awards® winner Cliff Robertson). Peter leads the life of a normal student, working as a photographer at the Daily Bugle under the tutelage of publisher J. Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons), pining after the beautiful Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) and hanging out with buddy Harry Osborn (James Franco).

On a school trip, during which Peter and his classmates are given a science demonstration on spiders, Peter is bitten by a genetically altered spider. Soon after, he discovers that he has unusual powers: he is endowed with the strength and agility of a spider along with a keen, ESP-like "spider sense."

After discovering these powers, Peter appears in a televised wrestling match and, armed with his new spider strength, wins the match in record time. But the wrestling match promoter refuses to award Peter the $3,000 prize money, alleging that Peter won too quickly. Soon afterwards, Peter has the opportunity to catch a burglar fleeing from the promoter's office, but because he wants revenge, he refuses to stop him. Moments later, the same burglar kills his beloved Uncle Ben.

As Spider-Man, Peter apprehends the burglar but is plagued with guilt for not being a hero sooner. During his time of turmoil, Peter remembers something Uncle Ben once told him: "With great power, there must also come great responsibility." Peter takes this to heart and decides to us his extraordinary powers to fight crime.

Meanwhile, megalomaniacal businessman Norman Osborn (Academy Award® nominee Willem Dafoe), Harry's father, is undergoing some changes of his own. An experimental formula has blown up in his face, increasing his intelligence and strength but also driving his insane. He is now the Green Goblin, Spider-Man's arch-enemy, who will put young Peter Parker's vow to fight crime and help innocent people to the ultimate test.
© 2001 Columbia Pictures

CD infoSpider-Man --Soundtrack
Various Artists - 2002

1. Theme From Spider Man 2. Hero - Chad Kroeger (feat. Josey Scott) 3. What We're All About - Sum 41 4. Learn To Crawl - Black Lab 5. Somebody Else - Bleu 6. Bug Bites - Alien Ant Farm 7. Blind - Default 8. Bother - Corey Taylor 9. Shelter - Greenwheel 10. When It Started - The Strokes 11. Hate To Say I Told You So - The Hives 12. Invisible Man - Theory Of A Dead Man 13. Undercover - Pete Yorn 14. My Nutmeg Phantasy - Macy Gray (feat. Angie Stone and Mos Def)(Tom Morello Mix) 15. I - IV - V - Injected 16. She Was My Girl - Jerry Cantrell 17. Main Titles - Danny Elfman 18. Farewell - Danny Elfman 19. Theme from Spider-Man - Aerosmith

Book InfoSpider-Man
by Peter David

It begins with an orphan named Peter Parker, raised by his beloved Aunt May and Uncle Ben in Queens, New York. A quiet student, he works diligently at his studies and pines for the beautiful Mary Jane Watson. But this ordinary teenage boy is about to have his life turned upside down, when he is bitten by a genetically altered spider. Suddenly, he finds himself possessed of spectacular powers. He is now and forever Spider-Man!

Follow Spider-Man's action-packed journey, from his struggle to harness the extraordinary gifts that will prove to be both blessing and curse, to his fight to save innocent lives while the media tears him to pieces. It all leads up to his ultimate battle high above New York streets, against the death-dealing madman known as the Green Goblin. While the city watches helplessly and countless lives hang in the balance, Spider-Man confronts his archnemesis, and the Goblin puts Spider-Man's vow to fight crime to the ultimate test . . .

About the Author
Peter David is famous for writing some of the most popular of the original Star Trek: The Next Generation novels, including Imzadi and A Rock and a Hard Place. His original works include the original fantasy Sir Apropos of Nothing, the Arthurian novel Knight Life, and the quirky werewolf story Howling Mad. He single-handedly revived the classic comic book series The Incredible Hulk and has written just about every famous comic book superhero, including Spider-Man and the futuristic Spider-Man.. BOOK INFO

Book InfoSpider-Man Confidential: From Comic Icon to Hollywood Hero
by Edward Gross

Book Description A Paperback Original. Just in time for Spider-Man's major motion picture release: the unauthorized biography of one of the world's most popular comic book superheroes.

For four decades, Spider-Man has enthralled fans of his comic books and television show. Now, step inside the story behind the superhero's growing empire, which is as fascinating as any of his adventures.

Entertainment writer Edward Gross tells all in this first unauthorized history of the Spider-Man (a.k.a. webslinger), his creator, and the movie that will catapult him into the public eye. Gross shows how Stan Lee's frustration as a comic book artist spawned the creation of a revolutionary comic book hero as he follows Spider-Man's popularity through the '60s and '70s. He provides Spider-Man's fans with a riveting biography of the superhero, a rogue's gallery of archenemies, and a behind-the-scenes episode guide to all five television series. Spider-Man is back and this fact-filled, fully illustrated book will become the perfect resource for his millions of fans.

About the Author
Edward Gross has been a correspondent for Starlog, the science fiction world's premier magazine, the senior editor of Cinescape, and the editor in chief of Not of This Earth. Currently he serves as executive editor of Life Story magazine and is a regular contributor to Total Movie magazine. He is the author of Captains' Logs: The Complete Trek Voyages, X-Files Confidential and Planet of the Apes Revisited, among other titles. He lives in New York. BOOK INFO


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By David Bruce

Spider-Man in many ways is a retelling of the story of Superman which is a telling of the life of Jesus Christ. There are differences, of course. Spider-Man focuses more on the coming of age teenage years than does Superman. In fact, Spider-Man IS a coming of age story.

Click to enlargeA TALE OF TWO BOYS.
As in Spielberg's Prince of Egypt, this is a tale of two "brothers." Harry is the natural son of Norman Osborn, and Peter Parker is the surrogate son. Like the Pharaoh in Spielberg's animated feature, the father favors the other/second "son" over his natural son. Click to enlargeThis theme of the second sibling over the first born is a popular theme in ancient Hebrew (Jewish) stories like Abel over Cain, Isaac over Ishmael, Rachel over Leah, Jacob over Esau, Joseph over his older brothers, etc.

This favoring of Peter Parker over actual son Harry Parker by the man who becomes the Green Goblin sets up amazing drama and tension.

Click to enlargeACCIDENTS HAPPEN
The transformations of Peter Parker to Spider-Man, and Norman Osborn to Green Goblin, are intercut together. It shows two very different ways of handling life-changing incidents. Peter Parker/Spider-Man responds to his "handicap" in a positive way. Norman responds in an evil manner. The story underscores temperament and determination as the motives toward particular outcomes. Peter Parker is an awkward teen, an innocent lamb, with no guile. Norman Osborn is motivated by greed for money, and intolerance toward others.Click to enlarge He is very self-centered. The life-changing incidents amplify their differing life styles. In the Spider-Man story it is not outcome, or the bottom line, that matters. Rather, it is where the person is coming from that matters. Outcome is subservient to motivation and desire.

There are two men, two acts and two results. There is a solidarity of evil and a solidarity of good, but the latter far surpasses the former.

This is the term that pop culturists use to describe superheroes. American Adams are archetypal heroes. Superman is the first of the current super hero types, but he is not the first of the hero myths. Both Superman and Spider-Man are connected to a long line of heroes. In the Spider-Man movie Norman Osborn (the Green Goblin) and Peter Parker (Spider-Man) are archetypes of the conflict between good and evil.

In the Bible there are two Adams. The first Adam is found in the book of Genesis. This first Adam brings about the fall of humanity by giving into "the dark side." The second Adam is Jesus Christ who undoes the work of the first Adam. In an interesting way the story of Spider-Man can be used to illustrate this. There are two men, two acts and two results.

Click to enlargeThe great ideas of Sin, Death, and Judgment are here shown, in the Bible, to be involved in the connection of the human race with the first Adam. But over against this there is the blessed fact of union with Christ (the second Adam), and in this union righteousness and life.

There is a solidarity of evil and a solidarity of good, but the latter far surpasses the former through Christ. Although sin and death are ours in Adam, righteousness and life are ours in Christ, and these latter two are infinitely the greater (Rom 5:11); whatever we have lost in Adam we have more than gained in Christ.

There is a difference between the Hell Fire in popular myth and the Hell Fire in the Bible. In recent myth Hell is often associated with the Evil One. Satan is viewed as the god of Hell Fire. Click to enlargeHowever, in the Bible, God is associated with Hell Fire which is prepared for the destruction of the Evil One. Hell Fire is God's way of cleansing the world of evil. The word fire in biblical Greek is "pur" from which we get the word "purify."

Click to enlargeThe popular association of fire to the Evil One is not that far off from the Biblical understanding, however. In the Bible, Satan is the one that comes to "rob, kill and destroy" -- all of which can be associated with the destructive qualities of fire. In Spider-Man the Green Goblin "robs, kills and destroys" and fire is one of his tools. Spider-Man uses Green Goblin's own weapons against him. The Green Goblin's own fire ultimately consumes him, which is very much like the the biblical model. Indeed, "We reap what we sow."

Although there are some obvious parallels between Spider-Man and the life of Jesus, the differences are more outstanding. Whereas, Superman is patterned after the life of Christ, Spider-Man is not. Peter Parker is more representative of a person gifted by God for a particular mission in life: "With Great Power, There Must Also Come Great Responsibility."

Peter Parker is not a messiah character. Rather, he is a regular everyday person that makes the most of his unique situation in the best way he can. His unique blessing is also his curse. In life our strengths can also be our weaknesses (e.g. trusting others can also make us vulnerable, etc.).

Peter Parker is more Chrst-like than a Christ-figure. He attempts to do the right things. He is not the savior of the world. Rather he is a savior in the world. Just so, we can all be helpful savior-like people who are there for others. Spider-Man speaks to the notion of being a true friend.

Spider-Man reminds us of what we can achieve. We can be insecure, awkward and still achieve great things in life. None of us are God, but we can do godly things. All of us are human with certain faults, just like Peter Parker. The Spider-Man story reminds us that we can rise above our human faults, fears, handicaps and uncertainties. We can be all that we were created to be.

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