Spider-Man: Homecoming 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review
Did we really need another Spider-Man reboot? The answer is a resounding “yes”. And not just because Tobey Maguire was too old to continue or that Andrew Garfield’s films were terrible, but because it’s hard to imagine a Marvel Universe anywhere and at any studio without the Web Slinger. He’s arguably the most famous superhero Marvel created and it was imperative they got him right on the big screen. Thankfully, the first-time-ever collaboration between Marvel and Sony somehow managed to work and we now have the perfect actor playing Spidey in Tom Holland and Spidey now fits in with the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Oh, and the movie is pretty good, too.
We pick up with Peter Parker right before the events of CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR as he’s riding in the limo to the airport and checking into the hotel. Director Jon Watts tells the pre and during Civil War moments through the lens of Parker’s home movie, shot on his phone. This is a nice way of recapping the events and telling the story more from Parker’s point of view. We flash forward two months later as Parker spends his time as a bored high schooler by day and an immature web crawler by night. During a routine patrol, he stumbles upon a group of criminals using an advanced, high tech weapon that he traces back to a flying bird-like creature (who we know as “Vulture”). But Parker is quickly in over his head while dealing with a real bad guy and trivial high school issues.
Those looking for an Iron Man and Spider-Man buddy cop movie will be disappointed. Although the trailers made it feel like Robert Downey Jr. is one of the main stars, the truth is that he has more of a glorified cameo. He shows up in the beginning to say be patient, then in the middle to say “bad boy” and then at the end to say “good job”. With that out of the way, he wasn’t needed. This is Peter Parker’s film and it’s about his journey as Spider-Man. Thankfully, we didn’t get another origin story and Parker is already comfortable with his powers. The “getting to know your powers” part of the film happens when Parker and his buddy Ned hack the suit to give it more abilities, which creates some humorous moments as Peter tries to figure out what his newly capable suit can do. And speaking of humor, the movie has plenty of it, but not in the laugh out loud kind of way, but more in the not taking itself too seriously kind of way.
I was nervous and very skeptical about Peter Parker being in high school, but it actually worked. The high school drama felt natural and it heightened the emotional connection the audience had with Peter. And there is a bit of a twist at the end that worked exceptionally well, even though it easily could have felt forced and cheesy. The film avoided various pitfalls in large part to the great performance from Tom Holland. He owned the character and his enthusiasm for the part was infectious. I found myself quickly believing this was Spider-Man and director Jon Watts hit all the beats. There’s nothing particularly original about the direction, but it’s efficient, and in the Marvel world, that’s really all that’s asked of the directors.
I’m not sure I would consider SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING the best Spider-Man film ever, but in today’s comic book movie world, I will say that this is the best Spider-Man movie possible. The team behind this film have inserted him into the Marvel Cinematic Universe perfectly and everything worked pretty well. Don’t let the Sony logo fool you; this is a Marvel movie, right on par with everything we’ve gotten from them over the last decade. As it turns out, that’s exactly what the Web Slinger needed.
4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: This is pretty amazing; no other way to put it. While resisting the urge to venture into hyperbole, this is the new disc I’m going to use to show off the format. The disc features Dolby Vision, but even if your set isn’t ready for Dolby Vision, the HDR is still going to blow you away. The details that show up throughout the film are incredible and add a whole new depth to the film that just isn’t there on Blu-ray. I noticed this clearly when Spidey got trapped in the tractor trailer; the added detail and improved colors gave the whole scene a 3D-like feel as every minor setting was visible. But the day scenes were just as impressive, with Spider-Man’s red suit “popping” at every turn. You of course get the standard improvements in clothing details and in close-ups, but those pale in comparison to the overall improvements in almost every scene. I’ve done about 150 4K reviews so far and if you’ve been waiting for a reason to upgrade your system, I think this might be it.
Audio: If the video wasn’t enough, the Dolby Atmos track should be enough to make you fully geek-out on this release. I actually found myself moving my head every time Spidey shot one of his webs out as the sound flowed perfectly across the surround channels. This is a great audio track.
This title was reviewed using a Samsung UBD-K8500 with a Sony XBR75X850C TV.
The 4K UHD does not contain any exclusive features, but it does include a Blu-ray of the film, which includes the following special features:
The Spidey Study Guide (this is also included on the 4K version): This is a pop up track that gives bits of info during the film, most of it relating to the comics and pointing out the various references in the film.
Deleted Scenes (16:17): Ten scenes in total, some of which you might recognize from the trailers and some of which are just extended scenes.
Featurettes (39:48): Seven featurettes focusing on the casting of Peter Parker, choosing Vulture as the villain, finding Jon Watts to direct and of course, plenty of looks at the stunts and some behind the scenes footage. These are nice overviews of some of the key making-of aspects of the film.
Rappin’ With Cap (2:26): These are a handful of Captain America PSA’s that weren’t used in the film. They’re fun, but without the context of the film, they’re a little weird.