Comics : Spider-Man 3: The Movie Storybook
This review was first published on: 2007.
Spider-Man 3: The Movie Storybook
Jun 2007 : SM Title
Find ISBN 0060837233
Sharing the same format as its precedents, this book is 8.25" x 11". A grand total of 48 full-color pages with movie stills - one or at most two stills per page. Each movie still is annotated by a couple of paragraphs.
With only 48 pages and 100+ paragraphs, naturally huge chunks of the film had to be skipped over. For example, consider the Harry sub-plot. We see Harry at MJ's play looking relatively normal. But then the next movie still has Harry unconscious on the ground having lost the fight against Peter. The Green Goblin/Spidey fight doesn't even merit a picture.
We get another still of Harry in hospital, having lost his memory. But then nothing at all until near the end of the book where Peter is at Harry's house when the TV comes on and tells about Venom/Sandman having captured MJ. In this third movie still, Harry has a scarred face - with no explanation of how this occured. The entire interplay between Harry and MJ and Peter, plus the battle between Peter and Harry where Harry is scarred. All of that is skipped.
The entire final four-way showdown is covered in one picture. Twenty minutes of movie in a single photo, which only shows Venom and Spidey.
The font and the language used in the text is large and somewhat childish, almost verging on clumsy. The movie stills aren't even particularly appealing. High-tech CGI films rely on rapid movement and well-matched music to sustain the illusion and suspend belief. A cold movie still doesn't even begin to do the film justice.
Many have criticized Spider-Man 3 for attempting to take on too much plot, too many characters. In a 140 minute film, a skilled director can incorporate a lot of material, and Sam Raimi certainly pushed the content to the absolute limit. The film was stuffed with content!
By contrast, the writer of this book has maybe sixty pictures and twice that many short paragraphs. Even a highly-talented writer would struggle with this task, and writer Kate Egan sadly fails to really make any impression at all. It's easy to sympathize, it's very unlikely that the goal is even feasible.
The final result is a book that fails on any real level. Yes, it's a collection of text that a ten-year-old could read, plus some pictures from the film. But it's very little more than that. The pictures are disappointing when taken out of context, and the storybook as a whole does nothing to bring back any vibrancy of the movie. Its an incomplete patchwork, and not even a very good one at that.
One single solitary web for an uninspired effort at a near-impossible task. This one is for dedicated collectors only. Go buy the DVD and watch the film, this book is no substitute at all.