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07/04/2004 Archived Entry: "Spider-Man 2 and not giving spoilers"

WENT TO SEE SPIDER-MAN 2 YESTERDAY. It's every bit as good as the original, though I don't think I'd agree with the dozens of reviewers who say it's even better. Either way, no point in quibbling. One or the other of the Spider-Man flicks is the best comic-book superhero story ever brought to the screen.

I got to thinking about something else, though. Before I went, I must have read 20 reviews. They were almost unanimous in their praise and nearly unanimous in what they revealed of the plot. Not one of them mentioned that the second half of the movie contains some significantly surprising surprises. And certainly none of them ever revealed the nature of those surprises.

Professional movie reviewers may give more detail than you really wish sometimes, but they never reveal key plot turns. Well, of course they don't. And have you noticed that although fan movie reviewers often will reveal key happenings, they faithfully preface their revelations with "spoiler" warnings to give you a chance to stay away? Only once in a long while, as in the case of the 1990s thriller The Crying Game, does a movie's big moment become so well known that audience members anticipate it before they ever hit the theater seats.

Yeah, all this seems obvious. I mention it, though, because it is obvious. No government ever had to write a law requiring reviewers not to reveal plots. Nobody ever had to be threatened with fines to get them to keep mum. It's just the right thing to do, so virtually everybody adheres to a completely unwritten and unstated "code" of honor.

How can this possibly be happening? You mean, people can be trusted to behave themselves without a law to force them to comply or punish them if they don't? No ... that can't be.

Hollywood must demand Congress pass a law mandating exactly how much of a movie any critic can reveal. It's needed. For the children. Or the health of senior citizens. Or corporate intellectual property rights. Or whatever.

Posted by Claire @ 02:36 PM CST

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