Amazing Spider-Man, The (Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray) (2012)
Menu Animation & Audio
Featurette-Making Of-Multiple (see below for details)
|Year Of Production||2012|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Dual Disc Set
|Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Marc Webb|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Hindi Dolby Digital 5.1
Kazak Dolby Digital 5.1
Russian Dolby Digital 5.1
Ukranian Dolby Digital 5.1
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Spider-Man has been a great property for Sony Studios over the last 10 years, with three films (all grossing around $800 million worldwide) between 2002 and 2007, starring Tobey Maguire as the eponymous superhero and directed by Sam Raimi. During the process of developing Spider-Man 4 with the same talent combination, disagreements between the director and producers resulted in the film not going ahead. Coming out of that the producers decided that they would start again with a new 'origin story' movie about Spider-Man, starring a new actor as Spider-Man and with a new director. Thus, The Amazing Spider-Man was born. You can argue back and forth as much as you like whether a new version was necessary so soon, but from a business perspective it makes perfect sense. It has proven to be a good decision from that perspective, with a production budget of $230 million the film took just under $800 million at the box office and will now be adding to that through home entertainment sales and rentals. The producers brought in a young and relatively inexperienced director to take on this huge project, Marc Webb, who had only directed one feature, the well-received 500 Days of Summer, a romantic comedy. He set out to make a different style of Spider-Man movie to the previous three and has certainly succeeded in that regard.
The movie starts with Peter Parker (played later by Andrew Garfield) as a young child, playing hide and seek with his father only to discover that his father's study had been broken into by people looking for his father's latest scientific breakthrough. His parents decide to disappear, leaving Peter with his Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) & Aunt May (Sally Field). He grows up in their care and is attending high school while the majority of the film's action takes place. He is an outsider at high school, keeping to himself and focusing on his photography and science. Once establishing this 'Peter Parker origin story' the film then follows three main story threads, how Peter Parker becomes Spider-Man, his on again, off again romance with Gwen Stacey (Emma Stone) and the efforts by his father's old colleague, Dr Curt Conners (Rhys Ifans) to restore his own severed arm via genetic manipulation. These three story threads intersect and drive the film's action.
There are a lot of things to like about this new Spider-Man film, with some high quality action sequences, well integrated and high quality CGI, humour and good acting from the leads. Unfortunately, there are also significant flaws which effect the audience's enjoyment of the film. These include a slow first 45 minutes or so, resulting in what is at 2 hours and 16 minutes a film which feels too long and the story relying on some remarkable coincidences and hard to understand character actions. These things do not outweigh the positives in the film but bring it back from being a great superhero film to just a good one. It is certainly and enjoyable and entertaining film but falls short of greatness. One interesting change is that the spider webs which Spider-Man shoots are mechanical devices he invents in this version as opposed to organic growths driven by the spider bite. I believe this is in keeping with the earlier comic books. The spiders here are also genetically mutated rather than radioactive. The costumes by Kym Barrett are excellent, especially the new Spider-Man suit.
Although this movie has some flaws, you can really see how they can do some great things with this new approach in coming films. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is already underway, due in 2014.
This Blu-ray set includes two Blu-ray discs, the first containing both 2D and 3D versions of the film, plus some 3D extras. The second disc contains more extras. In Region A the equivalent set contains three Blu-ray discs, one for the 3D version, one for the 2D version and one for the extras. I have no evidence one way or the other, however, I do wonder if this has resulted in any changes to the transfers presented.
On balance, this is a good but not great entry into the Marvel canon.
The feature is presented in a 2.40:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio.It is 1080p HD encoded using the AVC codec.
The picture was quite sharp and clear however not as sharp as some recent films released on Blu-ray, especially during early scenes. Shadow detail was excellent throughout.
The colour is excellent working well for the many dark sequences but also showing off the sunrises etc during the lighter sequences.
There were no artefacts of note.
There are subtitles in English for the Hearing Impaired which were clear and easy to read. There are also subtitle streams in Arabic, Croatian, Estonian, Hebrew, Hindi, Icelandic, Latvian, Lithuanian, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian and Slovenian.
The audio quality is excellent, despite not being as aggressive as some recent soundtracks.
This disc contains an English soundtrack in DTS HD-MA 5.1 plus Dolby Digital 5.1 dubs in Hindi, Kazak, Russian & Ukrainian. There are also Audio Description and Audio Commentary tracks.
Dialogue was clear and easy to understand throughout. The only exception to this was the dialogue by actor Irrfan Khan which needed subtitles at times to understand. I am sure this is the source rather than the transfer.
The score by James Horner is excellent playing a significant role in the atmosphere and tension developed in the film.
The surround speakers were very active throughout, very effectively providing an immersive aural experience without calling attention to themselves in an overt way. They were well balanced with the front speakers.
The subwoofer was also used very noticeably for the big action sequences, explosions and supporting the music.
|Surround Channel Use|
The menu included music and action, however, the design meant that it was difficult to see what option you had highlighted at any particular time.
This is quite a good if somewhat dry commentary. The three discuss development, story, sets, casting, the origins of Peter Parker, the characters and more. Worth a listen.
I did not review this but believe it to be an approximately 6 minute featurette in 3D which explains the process.
A 3D version of a featurette in 2D on the second disc. It covers how they set out to include various poses which come from the comic book covers into the film.
This is an extensive feature length documentary on the making of the new film. It includes seven sections on 1) the development process and the director 2) Casting 3) Spidey Suits & The Lizard 4) Production - LA 5) Production - Sony Studios 6) Production - NY 7) Post-Production & Release. These can be played separately or all together. As you would guess many areas of the films production are covered in detail including costumes, locations, effects, casting, directing, the origins of the story, how Spider-Man 4 morphed into this and more. Very interesting.
There are some really interesting scenes in here including a lot more of Dr Curt Conners, making me think it might have been better to focus on this story rather than having the three separate stories I mentioned above. Very worthwhile.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The US Region A release seems to be exactly the same as ours, except that the 3D version is on one Blu-ray and the 2D version is on another. It is hard to know if this makes a difference.
The video quality is very good.
The audio quality is excellent.The extras are enormous and high quality.
|DVD||SONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output|
|Display||Sharp LC52LE820X Quattron 52" Full HD LED-LCD TV . Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built into amplifier. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Speakers||Monitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer|