Still more lazy thoughts from this one…

TMT: “King me!”

This is the next entry in a Theatre… a Movie… and a Time, a series that was begun here. Since we’re visiting the year 2004 this week, and in-between seasonal flagship superhero movies debuts, thought I’d look back how my summer began back then. Rather than how it ended for me. With one of the very best flicks the genre ever produced. Which like this one, occurred during a leap year; even had a certain spidery someone1 returning to movie screens.


Theatre

The Downey Cinema 10:

kirkorian-cinema10
downey-cinema10

Images c/o Cinema Treasures site

Movie

Spider-Man_2_Poster

Time

June 30, 2004: I remember a time when comic book superhero movies were the rare thing. I mean after Superman: The Movie landed, to be sure. And I say that with a straight face, having been one of those pre-teens back in ’66 who couldn’t wait till the weekend to go see Adam West again in “tights” (yikes!) for a campy feature film2. An offshoot of the equally campy Batman TV series and one of only a handful comic book heroes adapted to the screen in those days.

Kinda3.

Outside of TV, more than a few the animated variety, our paneled characters had little impact. Only in our own imaginations. Even as this decade slammed past and the ’70s readied to slap us silly, solely Richard Donner’s effort made a return on investment at the box office and in fans hearts. Yet, what followed was either forgettable (chiefly any Captain America movie published by Marvel Comics pre-1998), occasionally great (Superman II), everything else in-between.

Till Tim Burton’s Batman (1989) arrived, that is.

The frequency of the good ones (Darkman, The Rocketeer) bumped higher before Schumacher’s Batman & Robin almost permanently derailed this kind of movie. Luckily, the new millennium brought with it X-Men and especially Spider-Man to the forefront and turned around the comic book superhero adaptations. The latter showcasing Sam Raimi’s splendid work in the genre4. So much so, most enthusiasts I knew couldn’t wait to see the Spider-Man 2 sequel this month.

Especially me.

Then, fate’s checkers5 lined up; the cascading jumps finished with a “King me!” moment. The Wednesday this opened I was to attend a work seminar in of all places, Downey. Same city We Dared in my youth that had expanded its cinema offerings only a few years back. Being a “tent-pole” movie extended early and multiple screenings to eager patrons. Like 8 AM early. So I showed up at the Downey Cinema 10 at a quarter to, got a ticket, and watched the first that day.

So what I was a tad late to the workshop, wasn’t like they were going to reveal my secret identity or the like.


The entire series can be found here. If you’re interested how it’s put together, click here.


  1. This the second “reboot” of the Spider-Man character as a film franchise. 
  2. Will skip the Batman: The Movie (1966) screening at this year’s TCM Classic Film Festival, though Mr. West will intro the movie. 
  3. I know this old program offers fond memories for some my age, but don’t get me started with its ridiculous word overlays used during the fight scenes…”Kapow” this! Besides, the Green Hornet put it to shame anyway. 
  4. That is until he and Sony followed up with one of the worst
  5. Known as Draughts in the UK. 
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11 Responses to “TMT: “King me!””

  1. Cindy Bruchman

    I agree wholeheartedly with your recollections, including Adam West in tights. I am very tired with superhero films, they leave me cold. But this one was believable and solid. Why can’t they just leave it alone instead of rebooting after rebooting?

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. Ted Saydalavong (@TSayda)

    I was a huge fan of Raimi’s Spider-Man so of course I was excited to see this one. Especially after Roger Ebert called it the BEST superhero film ever made. It’s funny looking back at the time when one or two superhero films were released each year. Now it seems every season there are superhero films, big or small budget.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • le0pard13

      Agreed. This sequel surpassed the first (always a good sign) and lived up to expectations. I worry about the genre these days, though. If anything will kill’em, it’s overexposure (and not Kryptonite). Thanks so much for the retweet and the comment, Ted! Much appreciated. 🙂

      Like

      Reply
    • le0pard13

      Mine, too. You’ll get no argument from me about your points expressed here, Ruth. Molina was simply wonderful, and tragic, in the role. Thank you. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  3. Victor De Leon

    Great post, Michael! Loved your recollections. Spidey 2 was one of the few honest and incredibly entertaining super-hero films of the 2000’s. They should go back to what made this entry really work these days instead of bombarding us with loud, quick and cgi infested drek. Nice job, here, man!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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