Today! Because the story of my life is not for the faint of heart –
Directed by Sam Raimi
Starring Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, Willem Dafoe, James Franco, J.K. Simmons, Cliff Robertson, Rosemary Harris, Joe Manganiello, Bill Nunn, Elizabeth Banks, Bruce Campbell, Macho Man Randy Savage, Octavia Spencer, Macy Gray, Lucy Lawless, Jim Norton, Stan Lee
And we’ve arrived at the first comic book superhero film to make the list! And this was really the patient zero for the film world we live in today. Sure, there were the ’70s/’80s Superman movies, and the ’80s/’90s Batman movies, and 2000’s X-Men, but in reality it wasn’t until Spidey came on the scene in ’02 that the modern era began. After this point, superhero movies would become omnipresent gigantic moneymaking super franchises, released at all times of the year. Do you remember the days when the top five grossing films of a year weren’t dominated by masked avengers and caped crusaders? Well you’re probably thinking of 2001 and before.
And that first Spider-Man is great. Tobey Maguire makes a terrific Peter Parker, Willem Dafoe’s career playing villains segued neatly into malevolent costumery, J.K. Simmons is hilarious, Cliff Robertson’s demise is also kinda hilarious, and Raimi’s light touches throughout kept this first movie from being too bogged down in the weighty aspects of Spider-Man’s origin. But yeah, for some reason, the sequence that has stayed with me is that weird wrestling scene with Macho Man Randy Savage playing Bonesaw, my clear choice for film MVP. The cream of the crop, indeed!
We’ve got two repeat list actors to spotlight – that great Raimi regular, #387’s Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs voice performer, and best-selling author of If Chins Could Kill and Hail to the Chin, Bruce Campbell!
Also, Peter Parker himself Tobey Maguire, making his second appearance on the big list following his work two years earlier, in #397’s Wonder Boys.
In addition to its huge pile of cash (Spider-Man was the fifth highest grossing movie ever at the time) and Visual Effects/Sound Oscars, could we throw a bone to Best Supervillain-Interrupted Prayer, for Aunt May and the Green Goblin’s utterly ridiculous exchange? “Finish it!” Hoo boy.