I’m always wary of movies based on comic books. There have been good ones – Ghost World, Batman, Blade – but the track record is not good. Spider-man is one of the good ones, maybe even one of the great ones. Director Sam Raimi hit the right balance between action and story, between reality and fantasy. Raimi has a steady hand with story – just rent A Simple Plan if you’re not convinced – and knows about action and special effects from his Evil Dead days. He has crafted an old fashioned super-hero movie that made me nostalgic for the days of Christopher Reeves as Superman. I would quibble with the decision to put a Green Goblin mask on Willem Dafoe. Why cover up his expressive face with a cheesy looking mask? Dafoe could have been more effective and twice as scary had we been able to actually see his face. Tobey McGuire nails the socially inept Peter Parker, putting a human face on the superhero that is very charming. This one’s a winner that is sure to spawn a web-full of sequels.