Marc Webb’s hotly debated web-swinging superhero film, The Amazing Spider-Man, released a mere ten years after the original Sam Raimi Spider-Man film, has received its fair share of criticisms and praises from critics and fans alike. This stereoscopic version might not seem completely necessary at first, but given some time the new Spidey warms up to you quite a bit. Thanks to the amazing casting choices, Webb is able to repaint the familiar story by adding a little more flair and polish. Amazing might be too strong a title, but then again, The Satisfactory Spider-man is hardly fitting either.
Since its release there have been many teasers leading up to The Amazing Spider-Man 3D Blu-Ray release date. We reviewed the prelude comic book (The Amazing Spiderman The Movie Prelude). We watched the deleted scenes (17 Minutes of Deleted Amazing Spider-Man Footage). We even laughed at the spoofs (Honest Trailers: The Amazing Spider-Man, How The Amazing Spider-Man Should Have Ended). Now that day has arrived and the Amazing Spider-man has swung onto store shelves in truly “Amazing” quality. Given the amount of extra features included on the disc, especially the deleted scenes, there is enough material here to fill in the blanks and provide additional entertainment.
Spiderman is, was and will probably always be one of the most iconic superhero characters in Marvel’s huge catalogue. Dating back to his creation in the 60’s and expanding to modern times, his popularity has grown from strength to strength thanks to the many film adaptations. Given that comparisons to the past titles are unavoidable, 500 Days of Summer director Marc Webb had to know he was stepping into the hot seat by taking on a new Spidey film so close to the original. Any and all skeptics were silenced as The Amazing Spider-Man found itself racing up the box-office charts once again.
The Amazing Spider-Man’s biggest victory comes in the form of British actor Andrew Garfield, who embodies the role completely, giving Peter Park an emo edge and helps us forget Tobey Maguire’s efforts. Together with Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Sally Field and Martin Sheen the casting is nothing short of superb, with each actor offering up rewarding performances. One only has to look at some of the behind the scenes footage on the disk to find proof that there was genuine chemistry both on and off set.
The story revolves around an orphan and social outcast, Peter Parker, who starts investigating the mystery of his missing parents. A briefcase filled with cryptic notes leads him on a path of discovery and introduces him to his father’s former partner, Dr. Conners. Not long after Peter is bitten by a radioactive spider, transforming him into Spider-Man. But as they’ve mentioned before… with great power comes great responsibility.
Not surprisingly, Webb opts for darker, Dark Knight-inspired visuals for The Amazing Spider-man. This transfers amazingly well in the 3D Blu-Ray release, which offers a flawless, crisp, razor-sharp, detailed and remarkably defined 1080p transfer. The blacks are extremely clean and the colour palette remains intact. Shot in a mix of live action and CGI, the film blends the two worlds perfectly.
The only real problem comes in with the 3D side of things. For a film that was shot natively in 3D there are hardly any screen popping elements. Depth varies from scene to scene and only in the film’s climax does the 3D come alive and offer decent visuals. Too much of the presentation is boring and there is a lack wow moments due to the boundaries set by the filmmakers. It’s not the worst 3D I’ve seen, but it offers very little to stand out from the stereoscopic crowd. Unfortunately, the 2D version tops the 3D offering here.
The DTS-HD 5.1 soundtrack does everything you’d expect it to – first-rate dynamics, frequency response and sound design. Everything is mastered to precision, offering real world sound environments accompanied by a good score. Sound effects can be heard coming from every possible direction, fully emerging audiences into the Spider-Man world. There is honestly nothing bad anyone can say about the audio quality, it’s flawless.
Much like the Prometheus Blu-Ray set, both the standard Blu-Ray disk and the Bonus “Special Features” disk contains a host of material on The Amazing Spider-Man. Expect audio commentaries from the director and writers, behind the scenes with the CGI, image progression reels, stunt rehearsals, behind the scenes with the visual effects department, discussions on the story, art and origins, interviews with the cast, deleted scenes, and so much more. Ironically, the 3D 101 with Director Marc Webb feature, which explains the film’s use of 3D, offers a better 3D experience than the actual film. Go figure?
The massive hour long Rite of Passage presentation (7 mini documentaries) explains everything from the conception to the final post production details – the suit design, the pre-visualization, the actors and the works.
Disc 1: 3D Blu-ray feature film
• The Amazing Spider-Man Second Screen App, including interviews, storyboards, alternate takes, costume tests, pre-visualization sequences and more. Allows you to “sling” content from your tablet to the TV.
• 3D 101 with Director Marc Webb
• 3D Image Progression Reel
• Audio commentary with Marc Webb, Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach
Disc 2: 2D Blu-ray featuring 90 Minutes of Behind-the-Scenes Documentaries, including:
• Rite of passage: Spider-man reborn (7 featurettes):
1. The drawing board: Development & direction – 13 minutes
2. Friends and enemies: Casting – 15 minutes
3. Second skins: Spidey suit and The Lizard – 11 minutes
4. Spidey goes west: Production Los Angeles – 16 minutes
5. Safe haven: Production Sony Studios – 15 minutes
6. Bright tights, big city: Production New York – 9 minutes
7. The greatest responsibility: Post production and release – 28 minutes
• 11 deleted scenes
• 17 pre-visualizations
• The Oscorp Archives production gallery
• 4 Image progression reels with commentary by the FX team
• Stunt rehearsals (8 segments)
• Developing The Amazing Spider-man video game – 3 minutes