The Amazing Spider-Man 3D Blu-ray Review
It’s unfair to THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN to compare it to SPIDER-MAN, which came out a mere 10 years earlier, but because of the short timeframe between the films, it’s almost impossible not to. There’s actually a lot about this film that I thought made it superior to the original. The chemistry between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone is much greater than anything Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst had. I liked the darker, more mysterious undertones as compared to the comic-book feel of Sam Raimi’s films. And I enjoyed the extra depth they gave Peter Parker with his parents and connection to Oscorp. But unfortunately, I’ve already seen this film before.
The first trailer for THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN was universally panned because it presented the film as yet another origins story. I kept hoping that when the final product arrived, the origin aspect of the film would be brief, maybe even in a flashback. But I was wrong. This is a true origin story and it’s basically the same thing we’ve seen before; Peter Parker takes a tour of Oscorp, wonders off where he shouldn’t, gets bit by a radioactive spider and wakes up as Spider-Man. Spider-Man fans have been arguing over the web-shooters since the first comic came out and here, the web shooting isn’t natural, but something Peter Parker has to invent. Personally, I prefer it to be natural, only because it seems the plot point of Spidey’s web shooters getting broken or not working is always a crutch (even in the comics). There’s only so many times that can happen before we get sick of it.
This time around, Peter Parker is not so much a nerd as he is an outcast. He’s a grungy skateboarder that’s still getting picked on by Flash, but the dynamic has changed a bit. One of the things that made Peter Parker so likeable was his nerd status. But I guess there are more teenage outcasts these days than nerds, so the update works with the new audience. They also replaced Mary Jane with Gwen Stacy, played by the always likeable Emma Stone. The scenes with Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone were some of the highlights and it was obvious Marc Webb felt comfortable with them, probably drawing on his experiences with 500 DAYS OF SUMMER.
The villain this time is Curt Connors, a one-armed scientist that eventually transforms into The Lizard. I liked the way Marc Webb used The Lizard and by making him more of a supporting character than a co-star, the story was able to stay focused on Peter Parker. We got enough of a backstory with Connors and understood his motivations and when The Lizard came out, we got plenty of action moments with him and Spider-Man. Overall, The Lizard was a worthy opponent and was the one aspect of the film that added something new to the franchise. There’s also a mysterious storyline regarding Peter’s parents and Oscorp that was set up nicely for future films.
The movie is frustrating because it is slightly better than the original, but at the end of the day, we didn’t need another Spider-Man origins story. There are so many great Spider-Man storylines in the comics to draw upon that we didn’t have to retell the same old story just because the actor playing Peter Parker changed. That said, I enjoyed the film and I have high hopes for the direction this new trilogy will go.
3D BLU-RAY REVIEW
If there’s one superhero film that could take advantage of the 3D technology, it’s Spider-Man. Unfortunately, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed with the lackluster 3D. The only time it was ever utilized properly was during the web-slinging scenes and even then, it underwhelmed. I’m guessing this will be corrected in future films since riding along with Spidey as he’s swinging around New York is a blast, but for this film, the 3D didn’t do much for me.
Video: THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN is absolutely beautiful. It’s Sony’s tent-pole franchise on a format Sony created, so there’s no excuse to not be pristine and Sony delivers.
Audio: The audio was just as impressive as the video.
Audio Commentary with director Marc Webb and Producers Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach: An interesting commentary that goes over character development, rebooting the franchise, storylines and all kinds of other things. Actually a very interesting commentary if you are so obliged to watch.
3D 101 with Director Marc Webb (6:21): This is Marc Webb basically giving us a tutorial on how 3D photographing works, which is interesting since there are more 3D scenes in this than in the actual film.
Iconic Poses and Digital Environments – 3D Image Progression Reel (2:34): This is a short montage of scenes shot around New York that has commentary from Additional Animation Supervisor David Schaub.
Audio Commentary is same as the one on the 3D disc
Second Screen Experience/ What is THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN Second Screen Experience (1:02): This is a tutorial describing the app for either iPad or Sony tablet that gives you additional information and behind-the-scenes stuff from the film.
Rite of Passage: The Amazing Spider-Man Reborn (1:49:51): A seven part documentary that talks about the reboot of the Spider-Man franchise. The different sections include: The Drawing Board: Development and Direction, Friends and Enemies, Second Skins: Spidey Suit and The Lizard, Spidey Goes West: Production – Los Angeles, Safe Haven: Production – Sony Studios, Bright Tights, Big City: Production – New York, The Greatest Responsibility – Post Production and Release and Iconic Poses and Digital Environments – 3D Image Progression Reel.
Deleted Scenes (16:48): Eleven deleted scenes that are interesting to watch, but didn’t need to be included in the film.
Pre-Visualization (39:10): This is basically a storyboard and animation that goes through the films major scenes, all set to a musical soundtrack.
The Oscorp Archives Production Art Gallery: An interactive art gallery.
Image Progression Reels: This is a little disappointing because it includes the Iconic Poses and Digital Environments -3D Image Progression feature was used here as well. Otherwise this is just a detailed look at how the digital process proceeds to the final product.
Stunt Rehearsals (11:53): This is an on-set look at some of the stunts done in the film.
Developing The Amazing Spider-Man Video Game (3:28): This is a quick bit about the video game with some interviews with the developers.