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Flashback Fridays: April 2007

Released in theatres on April 16th 2007, Spider-Man 3 grossed nearly $900 million worldwide

On this day fourteen years ago, Spider-Man 3 premiered at the Roppongi Hills Mori Tower in Tokyo. Spider-Man 3 is the third film in the Tobey Maguire-lead saga of New York’s most famous superhero. Directed by Sam Raimi, Spider-Man 3 is a continuation of the storyline between Peter Parker and Harry Osborn. Vengeful after his father’s death, Osborn intends to murder Spider-Man; however, after discovering Parker’s alter-ego, Harry finds himself unsure of his motivation. Meanwhile, this film introduces audiences to live-action versions of the classic villains the Sandman and Venom. Despite the overwhelming hype surrounding this film’s release, Spider-Man 3 was deemed a critical flop compared to its predecessors. Many criticized the bloated lineup of new characters, the clichéd amnesia subplot revolving around Harry, the acting of Topher Grace as Eddie Brock/Venom, and of course the embarrassing scenes of “Venom Peter Parker.” A sequel was planned for a 2011 release, but was scrapped in favor for a reboot of the series: The Amazing Spider-Man films. This franchise was inevitably canned when Sony partnered with Disney to add Spider-Man to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) and Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) were both highly successful, as was the 2018 animated film, Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse. Since these releases, the character has been more popular than ever, with a third film starring Tom Holland set to premiere later this year.

The 2007 Boston Marathon was the 111th running of the annual marathon, and was held on April 16. The marathon was run over a 28.6 mile trek with 20,000 participants. The men’s race was won by Kenya’s Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot in a time of 2:14:13 hours and the women’s race was won by Russia’s Lidiya Grigoryeva in 2:29:18. 

In the videogame market, the critically acclaimed Guitar Hero II launched on the Xbox 360. The Xbox version was controlled through a mock Gibson Explorer. This variation of the game featured improved graphics from the Playstation II. There are a selection of forty songs to play; however, due to licensing fees, only four of these songs are the authentic master recordings. Starting on April 11th, numerous bonus songs were made available for download on the Xbox store. New songs would be added frequently throughout the rest of the year. Since Guitar Hero II’s release, five more sequels have been released, the most recent of which being Guitar Hero Live in 2015.

onelygirl15 is a web series launched June 16, 2006, in the early days of YouTube. Initially presented as an authentic video diary “vlog”, it gained wide media attention in September 2006 when the show was revealed to be fictional. The plot began with the mundane life of a teenage girl; the narrative became increasingly bizarre, including the mysterious disappearance of her parents, and a “secret” ceremony prescribed by leaders of the cult. The series was created by Mesh Flinders, a filmmaker from Marin County.

At the time, Judson Laipply’s “Evolution of Dance” was the highest-viewed video on YouTube. Since 2000, Laipply’s profession has been public speaking. In 2003, he first performed the “Evolution of Dance,” featuring twelve pieces of popular music from the late twentieth to early twenty-first centuries. Over the next three years, Laipply’s bit underwent quite an evolution itself. The iconic 2006 version of this performance featured thirty-two snippets of various songs, ranging from Elvis Presley’s “Hound Dog,” to Jay-Z’s “Dirt Off Your Shoulder.” Within months after this video was uploaded to YouTube, “Evolution of Dance” went viral, earning over seventy millions views. It has since gained an honorable reputation as one of the finest examples of early YouTube viral hits. Since 2007, Judson Laipply has appeared in numerous forms of media, mostly to reference his iconic dance-routine. Two sequels were made to “Evolution of Dance,” the first in 2009, the second in 2016.


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