VIDEO: Along Came a Spider (2001)

Special Bonus Videos! Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month -Your Questions Answered

Full of Questions reviews Along Came a Spider, the thriller based on the novel by James Patterson. Morgan Freeman reprises his Kiss the Girls role as retired D.C. detective Alex Cross, who’s lured back into action when a senator’s daughter is kidnapped. He teams up with a Secret Service agent (Monica Potter) and the two spend most of the film trying to out-bland each other. FoQ explains how the movie is nowhere near as smart as the book, yet still enjoyably dumb.

Also, in recognition of Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month, FoQ has recorded two videos where she responds to questions about her condition that you, the viewers, submitted back in May. In keeping with the spirit of the occasion, she’s decided not to edit any of her tics out of these videos.

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  • MephLord

    I have to say, you are really developing into a great recapper.  I read more comic books than novels (as most of my comments probably point to) but you do a great job of narrating the recap.  I’m impressed and it shows how good you are at your craft.  Keep up the good work I look forward to seeing more work from you.

    • FullofQuestions1

      Thanks, this means a lot. I was really happy to read this.

      At the risk of sounding like a jerk for plugging my own videos, did you watch the TS one?

      • MephLord

        Of course, but I didn’t comment on those videos just the recap (I commented before those videos to keep them separate) because I didn’t want my comment skewed or affected.  You are clearly an amazing person dealing with a tragic affliction yet you don’t get it get you down.  It’s pretty inspirational to be honest.

      • The_Stig

        Let’s not forget the new film coming out soon, Madea’s Crime Thriller. 

        • FullofQuestions1

          I’m going to see it, but I generally have to wait a month to see a movie after it comes out in theaters.

          • The_Stig

            I have nothing against Tyler Perry himself though. He seems like one hell of a nice guy but those Madea movies. Good god. He just seems like a strange choice to play Alex Cross, yet part of me thinks he might just pull it off. If he can’t, I’m looking forward to your review 🙂

  • Cristiona

    Of course James Patterson’s outsold everyone.  He must publish half a dozen books a year.  Having cowriters on almost all them must help, but it’s still a pretty impressive feat.  Him and Danielle Steel.

  • The_Stig

    Despite his idiotic comments in the news recently, I cannot bring myself to show anything but love for Morgan Freeman. Thanks to Easy Reader and the Electric Company, that wonderful man helped teach me to read even before I even started school.

    Old School EC was so awesome it even had frickin’ Spider-Man!. Between that, Mr. Rogers and Sesame Street before it degenerated into The Elmo Show and cartoons that were nothing but 30 minute toy commercials and were damn proud of it; I actually pity the younger generations for not having children’s programming as badass as the kind mine enjoyed.

    Anyway, you’re starting to come along as a good recapper, Full…. or do you prefer to be called Miss Questions?

    PS: Is that Linkara’s couch?

    • FullofQuestions1

      I love Morgan Freeman too, though I did lose some respect for him when those rumors about his granddaughter started flying around (I can’t get a concise answer on whether or not they’re true).

      If you want to call me anything, call me Twitchy. Squeaky works too, although that subjects me to more Manson jokes.

      And I totally wish it was Linkara’s couch. I’m not changing the sheets anytime soon to keep the color. 😀

      • The_Stig

        Yeah, I don’t know if they’re true or not either but I hope not. 

        Ok then, Squeaky.Anyway, were I to start a review show, I would use a blank off-white drywall as an homage to the Nostalgia Critic 🙂

  • What the film doesn’t even seem to get-by sticking in the random references to spiders and the Little Miss Muffet rhyme-is that the book’s title actually does (most likely) make a reference to the big plot twist, in that spiders (at least some kinds) are actually known for stealing food away from other bugs, and will in fact invade the webs of other spiders and take their food as well. In that way, the term “along came a spider” would be a reference to the third party kidnapper (Spider B in nature) coming along and stealing away the child (food) while the main kidnapper (Spider A) was out trying to get another child (more food). I don’t think it would be a great stretch to think that Patterson knew
    about this while either coming up with the plot for the book, or at
    least in deciding to come up with a title for it.

    Unless one was familiar with this fact, though, and even if they were, I don’t think they’d get the connection between it and the plot until after they’d finished the book, especially with the familiarity of the phrase with the nursery rhyme to draw the reader off the more esoteric meaning of it vis-a-vis the actual plot.

    The fact that no one associated with making the film had any passing thought that the spider in the title might have anything to do with the actual plot of the book, and just stuck in some ham-fisted dialogue (What DOES he mean by “I like spiders”? I like people who “spin webs” and give me challenging cases? That doesn’t make sense: Wouldn’t you want your cases to be easy–unless you yourself are some sort of sociopath, perhaps.) in order to have something involving the title for the trailer, is just another one of the many head slapping moments that FoQ rightfully points out about this film. It would have taken just one person somewhere along the line to say “Hey, I remember from biology class….” to avoid this. (I had double checked the spider fact just before writing this comment on the internet, but I knew that I had
    originally heard about this fact in my youth–either in school or maybe
    on PBS.)

    • FullofQuestions1

      I was an AP Biology student and didn’t know this (I have checked the textbook, and this wasn’t mentioned anywhere), so I guess that is somewhat excusable.

  • Arcadiassx999

    Hey Full,  Nice Review. The only connection i have to this film is that i own the score by Jerry Goldsmith. I’m a big Goldsmith fanboy. One of these days ill have to watch it.
    Thanks for posting the Tourette Syndrome videos, you deserve a big Hug!  /E Hug  Sound like you have a great sense of humor, you do have one right? cause,….. (spot light comes on) “Hey Folks, I once had the Tics, Yeah.  Got em from my last girl friend!”  DA DUM, PHISSH!  These are the jokes folks! Sheesh hey the cemetarty is two blocks that way!  )p
    Let me ask you this, say you are watching a Sci Fi animated comedy(mature style)(anime style) and one of the crew members has Tourettes and the Captain and First Officer really don’t know where to place him, then the good guyd ship comes across this fleet of warships from the “Tourette Empire”.(yeah i know, i know) And no one can understand the alien “Gestures and Language” except the Tourettes afflicted crew member, the human and aliens communicate (ala Bugs Bunny’s freakout animation stye when he was on the moon) so after a lot of back and forth banter the captain demands an explanation and then has this long drawn out sneeze attack(ala Danny Kaye) and the alien admiral is so incensed that his fleet opens fire on the their ship.  The Captain says: “What’d I say?” Which the crewman reply’s: “You just called his mother a “Crossed Eyed Moose with Dandruff!”  (crickets sdfx)

    Would you be offended by this.  Honestly im trying to work it into a sequence in a Sci Fi Comedy script im “Trying” to develop.  I really mean no insult. Just be straight on the up and up with me.

    Thanky Rich.

    • FullofQuestions1

      Um, I’m not sure how to answer this. I thought that the South Park episode was going to be very offensive when I heard the concept, but it turned out to be quite funny. Really, I’d have to know the final product.

      However, right off the bat, it sounds like you’re thinking of another disorder. Tics are just involuntary versions of things people normally do, so (keep in mind, I’m only one person), I’d find it a bit implausible that they would have any hidden meaning. But hey, it’s your work, and I shouldn’t discourage anyone, especially if I don’t even know how it’ll turn out. 

      • Arcadiassx999

         Hi Full.  Thanks for the reply, i was getting a bit nervous thinking i might have insulted you. I hope i didn’t. The original writer of the script created a sequence where the Equal Opputunity Soliders (mostly disabled volunteers) save the ship from a terrorist who plants bombs in various places in the ship and its their job to disarm them. They do it very slowly and with a lot of miscommunication which add to the tension. So i just wanted to add one more sequence highlighting one of the EOS members.
        My Humor is a mishmash of Warner Bros cartoon animated shorts, British humor(whether i got the British reference or not), Danny Kaye, The Marx Bros, Monty Python, Red Dwarf, and even Japanese humor, yes it does exist and basically anything that is NON POLITICALLY CORRECT.  Hey that’s why i love THE BOOTH!
        If you want, go to  DMaustrap1 on YouTube and you can see the short teasers i created for the show. Its Just Windows Movie Maker stuff but its all i have. You can leave a bad review if you like.  Sorry for taking away from your review.

        Thanks for your kindness!

        Yours, Rich

  • Obi

    I´m not sure, but I think you are a little bit too harsh on this movie, because I enjoyed it quiet a bit.

    I mean of course it has its fair share of overly complicated and “never could pull that off in real life” plot twists, but let´s be honest almost all of the films nowadays who get the label “thriller” suffer from that sickness. In the end it´s all about fooling the audience, so greatest possible realism doesn´t get emphasized that much. And I have to admit that the film very much succeeded in fooling me, since I never saw that ending coming when I watched it for the first time.Also I can´t really comment on the acting since I only saw the film in a dubbed version (not by choice btw.) and quiet a while ago as well, but I feel you are a little bit to hard on Monica Potter. I am not going to claim that her performance here is Oscar material, but I can´t shake the feeling that we are getting somewhat used to the overacting and the pathos filled, highly emotional scenes in most of modern day films, that when we see a somewhat realistic performance we perceive it to be stiff. The only complaint I have about her is that she is way to pretty/cute to be believable as secret service agent, but on the other hand that works out really well for the ending, because the dollfaced, blond girl usually never ever ever turns out to be the bad guy – or rather girl in this case.

    • FullofQuestions1

       Hey, sorry it took time to get back to you- I’ve been working on my new video, and I also wanted to think out my response.

      I guess I was somewhat biased, coming into the movie after having read the book. In the book, the plot twists were needlessly complicated but somehow seemed more plausible and necessary. I found the ones in this film to be there just for some brief entertainment. As a result of reading the book, I also knew what to expect.

      You may be somewhat right about Monica Potter- I’ve seen her in other things, and her style is a little more subdued, at least in what I’ve seen her in. Here, however, I felt that she (and possibly the director) made a tone and mannerisms that did not match the dialogue, which I found to be more emotion driven in some scenes. You can argue that it was because she wasn’t always being genuine (in scenes with Cross), but her tone is the same when she is being honest. I found it to be a bit too monotonous for my taste.

      Always interesting to hear an opinion, thanks for your input.

  • Carlos Rivas

    at one point he remindss me of a much better movie, “imagine the patience, the dedication.” against a rook detective who could not sit still and a killer who is on a mission from god.