Spider-Man 3 ★★ ½ 2007 (PG-13)
Raimi's sublime superhero series falters in this third chapter, thanks largely to the director's cheeseball sensibilities. Spider-Man (Maguire) is enjoying a brief period of popularity, which only makes things worse with his fading star girlfriend MJ (Dunst) and his vengeance-minded pal Harry (Franco). Adding to the mix is a nasty rival photographer (Grace), the powerful ex-con Sandman (Church), and Venom, an evil alien parasite that gives Spidey a black suit and makes him act like a jerk. There's a lot of blockbuster fun, but you'll spend half the movie rolling your eyes at the unconvincing love quadrangle and Raimi's attempts to turn Spidey into the messiah of New York. Still, much better than the third chapters of the X-Men, Superman, or Batman franchises. 139m/C DVD, Blu-ray Disc . US Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Thomas Haden Church, Topher Grace, Bryce Dallas Howard, James Cromwell, Rosemary Harris, J.K. Simmons, Dylan Baker, Bill Nunn, Theresa Russell, Theodore (Ted) Raimi, Cliff Robertson, Elizabeth Banks, Perla Haney-Jardine, Michael (Mike) Papajohn, Joe Manganiello, Lucy Gordon, Bruce Campbell, Daniel Gillies; D: Sam Raimi; W: Sam Raimi, Alvin Sargent, Ivan Raimi; C: Bill Pope; M: Christopher Young.