Spider-Man: Collector's Edition (2002)

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Released 26-Oct-2002

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Main Menu Introduction
Menu Animation & Audio
Dolby Digital Trailer-City
Audio Commentary-Sam Raimi, Laura Ziskin, Grant Curtis & Kirsten Dunst
Audio Commentary-John Dykstra, Scott Stockdyk, Anthony LaMolinara
Active Subtitle Track-Spider-Sense
Filmographies-Cast
Theatrical Trailer-Spider-Man;Mr. Deeds;Mutants, Monsters & Marvels;MiB II
Music Video-Hero-Chad Kroeger + Josey Scott; What We're All About-Sum 41
TV Spots-10
DVD-ROM Extras-Comic/Feature Comp;Record Own Comm;Visualizer;Links;Game Dem
Informational Subtitles-Weaving The Web
Featurette-Spider-Man: The Mythology Of The 21st Century
Gallery-S-M Archives;Artists Gall;Rogue's Gall;Loves of Peter Parker
Notes-Activision Game: Hints & Tips
Featurette-HBO Making Of;Spider-Mania;Director Profile;Composer Profile
Featurette-Screen Tests (4)
Outtakes
Easter Egg-5
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 116:14
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (74:40)
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Sam Raimi
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Tobey Maguire
Kirsten Dunst
Willem Dafoe
J.K. Simmons
James Franco
Rosemary Harris
Cliff Robertson
Case Soft Brackley-Coloured-Dual
RPI $42.95 Music Danny Elfman


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles Active Subtitle Track
English
Dutch
Hindi
Dutch Audio Commentary
English
English for the Hearing Impaired
English Information
Dutch Audio Commentary
Smoking Yes, Mildly
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, Well...sort of.

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    It has been a 20 year effort to bring Spider-Man to the screen - maybe that is why there was so much anticipation and hype before its release. Through a risky choice for director, a controversial choice as our hero and through September 11, Spider-Man delivered the goods in terms of box office revenue, storytelling, performances and most importantly it satisfied the legions of adoring Spider-Man fanatics world wide.

    When Sam Raimi won the race to direct Spider-Man over other (rumoured) candidates like James Cameron and David Fincher, it was a move that at first seemed a little odd, but was soon accepted once Raimi revealed his honest love for the character since he was a little boy. A Spider-Man fanatic since childhood, Raimi beat out other interested parties by selling the producers on his vision for the film and by wanting to keep the film as true to the comic books as he could. This choice proved to be Raimi's success as well as delivering a sense of credibility to the masses who eagerly awaited its mid-2002 release.

    The film itself plays like a comic book, and is up there with the best comic adaptations of all time. It deals with Spider-Man's beginnings, and shapes his internal battles perfectly. All the main characters are well fleshed out and the film includes enough Spider-Man knowledge to keep the hard-core fans happy, but to also keep the first timers entertained. This is a fine line for Raimi to walk because if he makes the film too self-explanatory, or on the flip side, too Spider-savvy then he stands to lose a great portion of his audience.

    The first half of the film is some of the most enjoyable film making we have seen in a long time. As Peter Parker discovers his powers and how to use them, the film is real, the film is fun and the film is exactly what it should be - a true escape from the real world.

    'With great power, comes great responsibility'
    That is my favourite aspect of the Spider-Man character. He is not a wondrous superhero who waltzes into a situation, beats up the bad guys and leaves again. He has a conscience and is troubled by his actions as well as others. He treats his superpowers with respect, and deep down, is just a normal guy. It is the belief that you know you could have helped a situation but you didn't - you weren't responsible enough. It is this feeling of guilt and conscience that keeps Spider-Man going. He is not out simply for revenge, and he not infallible; he is a responsible hero.

    Tobey Maguire plays Peter Parker, a nerdy high school kid with a crush on his next door neighbour, Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst). On a school excursion, Parker gets bitten by a genetically enhanced 'super spider' and wakes up the next day with enhanced vision, strength and some funny goo spurting out of his....wrists. Meanwhile, his mentor Norman Osborne (Willem Dafoe) is about to lose his contract with the military unless he can prove his biotechnological research is ready for human testing. In a desperate ploy, he uses himself as the test subject and winds up transforming into the psychotic Green Goblin.

    Thus a hero and a villain are made. The rest of the film offers up massive amounts of digital animation and well thought out set pieces as the story takes us from the origins of these characters, and shows us some incredible action before leaving us wanting more as the film winds out. Great stuff.

    Tobey Maguire is fantastic as the characters of Peter Parker and Spider-Man. The innocence of Parker and the resulting heroics of Spider-Man have silenced all who doubted that he could do the job. He is funny, he is built, and he put in a lot of effort into making this role his own. Six months worth of training for 5 hours a day have certainly sculpted the kid we saw in The Cider House Rules and Pleasantville into someone worthy of playing an adored superhero.

    Willem Dafoe is the clear highlight as the Green Goblin. He plays two distinct personalities as Norman Osborne and The Green Goblin, and owns the best scene in the film where he performs as both sides of his character's personality in front of a mirror. This scene is but one of the exceptional performances Dafoe makes in this film as he steals the film away from everyone else.

    Spider-Man is a brilliantly crafted film that has captured and held on to the essence of the comic books. Raimi's direction and vision is amazing and the visual effects for the most part are outstanding. This is one film that was made for DVD -  with that power comes the great responsibility of creating a beautiful DVD...lets see how they went.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video transfer of this film lives up to every expectation!  It delivers on every area that a superb video transfer demands - brilliant and vibrant colour, deep and crisp shadow definition, a razor sharp picture and a general picture quality that just jumps off the screen. This, my friends is reference quality.

    The film is transferred in its original aspect ratio of exactly 1.85:1. This is unusual for Columbia Tristar, as they usually crop films of this ratio ever so slightly to 1.78:1. Congratulations, and our sincere thanks to the powers that be.

    The picture is brilliantly sharp and defined at all times. There is barely a shot where I had to even question this fact. Each character is clearly defined and resonates from the screen. Shadow detail is also brilliant. There is a lot of action that takes place in darkened areas, and we can see everything perfectly - a credit not only to the DVD masterers, but also the lighting team on the film itself. There is one shot that appears a little murky and dark, however, at 30:13. It is explained in the audio commentary that this scene had a lot of colour balance added to it in post production to combat the ambient light getting brighter as the scene was shot nearing dawn. Other than that, the blacks are superbly deep and shadowed areas are defined perfectly. There is some very fine grain noticed at times, with some examples being at 24:40, 46:03, 59:59 and 84:51. This grain is incredibly fine and is a problem emanating from the source material, as more often than not, it appears only from one particular camera angle. There is no low level noise.

    Colours in this film are the highlight for me. As the film is made like a comic book, there are bright, beautiful colours in almost every scene. Primary colours are abundant in the forms of red and blue for Spider-Man and green for the Green Goblin. The New York colour palette is represented perfectly and every other colour involved just sparkles. Take in the colour from the 'World Unity Fair' scene to see a wide variety of strong, stunning colours that have been beautifully rendered.

    There are no MPEG artefacts to be found here, and some very, very minor film to video artefacts in the form of aliasing. I only noticed these as I was searching for them, but nevertheless, they are found at 27:47, 61:44 and 88:05. There are some specks of dust and dirt found on the film's negative throughout the film with some instances being at 27:40, 24:24, 25:37, 57:36 and 75:42. Again, this is no fault of the DVD masterers as the dust appears on the film's negative. Some of the same artefacts are apparent on clips of the film used in the featurettes on disc 2, proving that these artefacts could not be removed for the mastering of this DVD or any other transfer.

    There are a number of subtitle tracks recorded on this DVD. I watched about 20 minutes of the English subtitles and found them to be fairly accurate to the spoken word, with only the occasional word left out for pacing purposes.

    This is an RSDL disc, with the layer change occurring at 74:40. It occurs between scenes just as the music and ambient noise drop off enough for it to take place - I believe that this is the best place for it, even though it is quite noticeable.

    In summary, this video transfer is stunning. All the artefacts I have mentioned are either very minor or are something that could not be helped for the manufacturing of this disc. I have no problems rating this transfer as one of the best I have seen.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    Again, the audio transfer is of reference quality with strong surrounds, a lot of subwoofer and crisp dialogue all delivered through 5.1 loungeroom-rattling channels!

    There are three audio tracks on this DVD. The default is an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack running at 448kb/s. There are also two English Audio Commentary tracks, with Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded sound - I listened to all three soundtracks.

    The dialogue is clear and easy to understand at all times. It resonates from the centre speaker with a strong signal that balances beautifully between the left and right channels. Audio sync is not a problem either. Of course, this problem is almost not applicable in this film as two of the characters speak through masks for half the film!

    If there is one composer in Hollywood who can be identified by his sound, it would be Danny Elfman. When I first watched Spider-Man many months ago, I did not know Danny Elfman was doing the music for the film, but after about 30 seconds of the overture in the opening credits, I knew that the man who had delivered us Batman, The Simpsons & Planet Of The Apes was ready to give us another taste of his best work. The score for Spider-Man is one that plays perfectly with the film but does not try to take over the action on-screen, which is a perfect balance and one that probably should be thought about a bit more often. The music on this DVD transfer is strong and well balanced throughout the channels. In the action scenes it gives a boost as well as sculpting our emotions to fit the scene when the film calls for it.

    The surround channels are used wherever they can, which really helps to bring the viewer right into the film. Action sequences and marquee shots like Spider-Man swinging through the city are filled with effects from these speakers. At other times, they are used more subtly with well thought out additions like the bullet casing falling to the ground at 45:40. By far the biggest workout they get is during the final battle between Spider-Man and the Green Goblin, though.

    The subwoofer is used effectively throughout the film whenever it is required like during explosions and fight scenes. The best however, is when you are not expecting it, like at 8:39 and 9:32, when we first see the super spider that will bite Peter Parker. That is the sort of LFE use that I really enjoy.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    The extras presented on this disc are bountiful and expansive in their variety. They are all interesting, informative and of great value.

Disc 1

Menu

    The menu here is themed by the film, with action shots of Spider-Man and the Danny Elfman score playing over the top. In a feature I have not seen before, there is a 'quick navigational' menu that can be accessed by the spider in the middle of the menu. This allows you to choose where you want to go without having to wait while the menu changes.

Audio Commentary 1-    Director Sam Raimi, Actress Kirsten Dunst, Producers Laura Ziskin and Grant Curtis

    This commentary is good but not great. Raimi and Curtis record their commentary separately from Ziskin and Dunst. The commentary is informative, but they tend to simply chat to each other rather than comment on the film to the viewer. It is an adequate commentary, but not the best I have heard.

Audio Commentary 2-    Visual Effects team John Dykstra, Scott Stockdyk and Anthony LaMolinara

    I found this commentary much more interesting. Visual effects supervisor John Dykstra teams up with Director of Animation LaMolinara and are joined by visual effects supervisor from SPI Imageworks, Stockdyk. Together, they are able to comment on almost every effects shot in the film and explain the processes without getting too technical for the viewer.

Spider Sense

    This 'follow the white rabbit' feature reveals 6 featurettes through the film.

    'The Spider Wrangler' is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and runs for 8:52. It features interviews and footage from Steve Kutcher who provided all the real life spiders for the film. He is an incredibly freaky guy.

    'Bonesaw McGraw' is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and runs for 1:47. Featuring former WWF and WCW wrestler Randy 'Macho Man' Savage who plays Bonesaw McGraw in the film, Savage talks about his involvement in the film for his scenes. Again, he is another incredibly freaky guy.

    'The Model Maker' is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and runs for 1:48. It is about Justin Mahalian, who made a lot of the models for the film. These models look amazing and have great attention to detail.

    'Creating the world of Spider-Man' is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and runs for 3:17. Featuring Production Designer Neil Spisak and Director of Photography Don Burgess, it is a very interesting piece that shows off some of the people who made the film look so unreal.

    'Designing the World of Spider-Man' is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and runs for 2:33. Ozzy Inguanzo is the Art Department Co-ordinator and Easton Smith is the Set Designer on the film. They both love their work and can show us how the world of Spider-Man was conceived.

    'The Prop Maker' is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and runs for 2:14. It features William Naumann who is another freaky guy who actually built a lot of the sets for the film. An amazing job and one that seems very interesting.

Weaving The Web - Pop Up Factoids

    These pop-up facts appear about every 15 seconds throughout the film. They are split into two distinct categories - facts that pertain to the film are presented in red and blue, and facts that refer to the comics appear in black and white. The range of facts are from location details to casting facts, trivia and comic-related facts. Some of the facts are useless and some are quite interesting, but any information is good I guess.

Theatrical Trailer - Spider-Man    (1:10)

    This trailer did not play in Australian theatres. It is much like the brilliant trailer that brought in such a massive box office, but much shorter and does not pack as much punch as the longer version. Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and 16x9 enhanced, this trailer has a 448kb/s soundtrack and looks quite nice. It is a shame that we do not get the longer trailer though.

Theatrical Trailer - Mr Deeds    (1:43)

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and 16x9 enhanced, this trailer has a 384kb/s soundtrack, and plays well.

Theatrical Trailer - Men In Black II    (1:47)

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and 16x9 enhanced, this trailer has a 384kb/s soundtrack, and is the trailer that was used to promote the film right before its theatrical release.

Theatrical Trailer - Stan Lee's Mutants, Monsters and Marvels    (3:12)

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and not 16x9 enhanced, this trailer has a 192kb/s soundtrack, and features Spider-Man creator Stan Lee being interviewed by Kevin Smith. It looks pretty interesting and would be great if you were into comics.

TV Spots

    There are 10 TV spots here, all presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and not 16x9 enhanced. There are seven 30 second spots and three 15 second spots. All play very well and probably contributed a lot to the film's fantastic box office results.

Music Video    'Hero'    (3:24)

    The marquee song from the film that plays over the end credits is performed by Chad Kroeger from 'Nickelback' and Josey Scott from 'Saliva'. The video is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced. It suffers from some aliasing and has a 192kb/s soundtrack.

Music Video    'What We're All About'    (3:42)

    The other song that plays over the end credits is performed by Sum 41. The video is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced. It has 192kb/s soundtrack and plays well.

Cast Profiles

    Presented here are selected filmographies for Tobey Maguire, Willem Dafoe, Kirsten Dunst, J.K. Simmons, Rosemary Harris and Cliff Robertson.

Disc 2

Menu

    Again themed around the film, but this time featuring the Green Goblin, this menu offers two choices: 'The Goblin's Lair' (the film) or 'The Web Of Spider-Man' (the comics). Choosing one of these options will take you to relevant material on either the film or the comics.

Gag Reel/Outtakes    (3:04)

    Presented in a ratio of 1.85:1 and not 16x9 enhanced, this gag reel has its moments, but nothing spectacular. It suffers from some heavy film artefacts as it is obviously discarded footage.

Screen Tests    (4)

    There are 4 screen tests presented here. All are of good quality and are interesting to watch. They are:
 
    Tobey Maguire -    This test shows Maguire in a fight scene against 4 hoods in an alleyway. It is presented in 2.35:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced. It runs for 1:13.

    J.K. Simmons -    This test has Simmons practising one of the great diatribes he blurts out during the film. It is presented in 1.33:1 and runs for 00:49. It suffers from heavy grain.

    CGI Spider-Man -    This test is an early shot of Spider-Man climbing up a wall. It looks very good and is similar to how he looks in the final film. It is presented in 2.35:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced. It runs for 00:21.

    Makeup and Costumes - This test shows Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, Rosemary Harris, Cliff Robertson and Willem Dafoe in various forms of their costumes standing in front of the camera doing different things. It is presented in 1.85:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced. It runs for 2:55.

Composer Profile - Danny Elfman    (7:27)

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and featuring interviews with Danny Elfman, Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire, this profile of Danny Elfman is fantastic. Instead of featuring people saying things like 'I have always wanted to work with Danny....' etc, this actually shows Elfman at work in the studio and features him talking about how he scores a film.

Director Profile -    Sam Raimi    (7:04)

    Presented like the Danny Elfman profile, this featurette has interviews with Tobey Maguire, Bruce Campbell, Willem Dafoe, Kirsten Dunst, Rosemary Harris and many others.

Featurette -    E! Entertainment 'Spider-Mania'    (40:30)

    This featurette tends to lean a little to the usual 'behind the scenes' featurette we have come to expect from various EPKs over the years, but goes into a little more in depth than that by the end. It covers a lot of information and has interview with all the principal staff and crew. It is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and features footage of the film in 1.85:1, non 16x9 Enhanced.

Featurette -    'HBO Behind the Scenes-  Spider-Man'    (24:41)

    This featurette is more like the EPK featurettes we are used to. It features similar information to what is around on other featurettes on this disc, but is still interesting enough. It is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and features footage of the film in 1.85:1, non 16x9 Enhanced.

Featurette -    'Spider-Man: The mythology of the 21st Century'   (25:29)

    Taken from a comic book perspective, this featurette features many animators, inkers and Spider-Man comic enthusiasts. It takes us from the origins of Spider-Man through to the current team of artists at Marvel comics. Interesting stuff. It is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.

Rogue Gallery

    Here are bios for all of Spider-Man's arch villains. Each bio features a spinning model of the villain, plus their history and their weapons of choice. There are bios for Hobgoblin, Dr Octopus, Chameleon, Sandman, Electro, The Green Goblin, Mysterio, Lizard, Venom, Shocker, Rhino, Kraven, Scorpion and Vulture.

The Loves of Peter Parker

    Presented here are bios for Spider-Man's love interests through time. Some are represented in the film itself. Featured are Betty Brant, Gwen Stacey, The Black Cat and Mary Jane Watson. Each bio covers their history in the comic books and their relationship with Spider-Man over time.

Spider-Man Archives

    Split up into decades and then further into specific years, here are synopses for some of Spider-Man's best comics from 1963-2002. There is a lot of information here and this is something that comic book fans will eat up with a spoon.

Artists Gallery

    This conceptual art gallery is stunning!  There is a massive amount of information here and some brilliant looking drawings of set design, conceptual art, production design, Spider-Man, The Green Goblin plus much more.

Easter Egg #1 -    'A New Twist On The Webs'

    Go through DVD ROM link on Disc 2 and press up from the 'Main Menu' link. Hit enter on the highlighted spider, and it will take you to a clip of Spider-Man artist Todd McFarlane talking about how he changed the way that Spider-Man's webs are drawn.

Easter Egg #2 -    'The Romitas'

    Again on Disc 2, go through 'The Evolution of Spider-Man' link, then highlight 'Artists Gallery' and press right. This will take you to a small featurette on legendary Spider-Man artists John Romita Sr. & John Romita Jr.

Easter Egg #3 -    'Sinister Six' Bio

    On the first page of the Rogue's Gallery, press up from Dr Octopus and hit Enter. This will reveal a hidden bio for the conglomerate of evil - 'The Sinister Six'.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 4 Collector's Edition of this disc misses out on;     The Region 1 Collector's Edition of this disc misses out on;      The Region 1 and the Region 4 discs of Spider-Man are identical in terms of their features and the quality of their transfers without formats taken into consideration. The R4 disc however, would have the upper hand due to its PAL format.

    In Region 1, released simultaneously with this Collector's Edition DVD is the 'Spider-Man Collectors Gift Set' that along with the Collector's Edition DVD, includes the following;

    Obviously the DVD portion of this package is exactly the same as what we have here, but if you are a Spider-Man fan, then you may also want to consider this Gift Set as an option.

Alternatively, in Region 4, you can also buy the Spider-Man Limited Edition Box Set which consists of the DVD, Stan Lee's Mutants, Monsters and Marvels plus the original soundtrack CD. A wealth of choices for Spider-Man fanatics!

Summary

    Spider-Man was one of the biggest releases of 2002, and its DVD equivalent most certainly demands the same respect. All facets of this disc are simply marvellous - with its reference quality transfers and incredible amount of extra features, this disc is a 'must buy' for all DVD fanatics.

    The video transfer is of reference quality.

    The audio transfer is superb and delivers all around the room.

    The extras are expansive, informative and numerous.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Hugh Fotheringham (what the hell is going on in bio??)
Tuesday, October 01, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVP-S525, using Component output
DisplayLoewe Xelos (81cm) 16:9. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-DS797- THX Select
SpeakersJamo X550 Left and Right, Jamo X5CEN Centre, Jamo X510 Surround

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MovieHole - Clint M
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Comments (Add)
R4 LE is another option - tiggers (bio...organism?)
Ah Hugh, The Short One Did Play In Theatres - DarkEye (This bio says: Death to DNR!) REPLY POSTED
Spiderman Gift pack is getting R4 release - Ringo Chen
Annoying product placement - Nick H
What about the Twin Towers Trailer - Anonymous REPLY POSTED
First half excellent, second half wasn't - Corey (mmmmmmmmmm.........bio) REPLY POSTED
R4 versus R1??? - Erik
X-MEN 1.5 special edition specs - Stimpy (da, what's a bio Ren?)
X-MEN 1.5 special edition specs - Deckard
Glitche in Spiderman DVD - OziRoo
4th Easter Egg - BruceM (read my bio)
Hey, while we are all b****ing about special editions and re-releases - Stimpy (da, what's a bio Ren?)
5th Easter Egg - Prisoner 24601
RE 4th and 5th easter eggs - Stimpy (da, what's a bio Ren?)
Re: 4th and 5th Easter Eggs - BruceM (read my bio)
6th Easter Egg - Prisoner 24601
Video Glitch @ 18m:30s - JediDude (read my bio)
RE: Video Glitch @ 18m:30s - MickJT (Have a look at my biography)
RE: Glitche in Spiderman DVD - MickJT (Have a look at my biography)
No wonder Playstation 2 sells more... - curlcurl07