Spider-Man-The Ultimate Villain Showdown (1996)

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Released 2-Jul-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Animation Main Menu Introduction
Menu Animation & Audio
Scene Selection Anim & Audio
Featurette-Episode #49: Return of The Green Goblin
Introduction-Stan Lee (4)
Featurette-Stan Lee's Soapbox
Featurette-Rogue's Dossiers with Stan Lee's Comments and film clips
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1996
Running Time 79:13
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (58:57) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Yosi Cyatani
Eun, Byung Kim
Eel Kim
Young, Duk Kim
Studio
Distributor

Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Starring Christopher, Daniel Barnes
Sara Ballantine
Edward Asner
Linda Gary
Neil Ross
Gary Imhoff
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $24.95 Music Shuki Levy
Kussa Mahchi


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Spider-Man: The Ultimate Villain Showdown is a collection of four episodes from the 1990s Spider-Man animated series. These four episodes are from the Sins Of The Father story arc, which took place in the third season of the animated series. Only the first two episodes are directly linked and the other episodes may be viewed in any order. The series utilizes a number of CGI sequences but these do not integrate with the rest of the more traditional animation style. Unfortunately, the choice of episodes is a little puzzling and would not be considered an "ultimate villain showdown" by many fans.

    This disc contains the following four episodes. I have included a very short description for each but as these may contain some spoilers you may wish to skip directly to the Transfer Quality section.

The Sins Of The Father, Chapter II: Make A Wish
    During a battle with Doctor Octopus, Spider-Man accidentally destroys a medical research lab. After his boss, Jonah Jameson, publicly blames him for the incident, Spider-Man considers giving up his superhero role. While contemplating his future, Spider-Man meets a mysterious fortune-teller who convinces him to meet a young fan. While with this fan, Spider-Man is again attacked by Docr Ock.

The Sins Of The Father, Chapter III: Attack Of The Octobot
    Suffering from amnesia, Spider-Man is under the control of Doc Ock and he is convinced he is working with him. The only one who knows the truth is a young girl who must find someone to believe her story. She eventually enlists the help of the city's cab drivers and they must work together to save Spider-Man.

The Sins Of The Father, Chapter IV: Enter The Green Goblin
    Norman Osborne is trapped in an explosion and fire after an accident at Oscorp. His son, Harry, travels to the factory to help look for him and is also trapped in the inferno. Luckily, Spider-Man is able to save Harry and the Oscorp employees, but there is no sign of Norman. As Spider-Man continues to investigate the accident, he meets a new enemy - the Green Goblin.

The Sins Of The Father, Chapter V: Rocket Racer
    A gang of thieves is in town using a large mechanical wheel to commit precision robberies. When young student Robert Farrell is caught up in the thieves' escape, everyone assumes that he is part of the gang. After Robert tracks down the gang he is able to obtain some of their technology and fit it to his skateboard. When the gang come looking for their technology, Spider-Man must see if he can help Robert.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This full frame transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.

    The transfer is acceptably sharp throughout and there is no low-level noise present at any time. The image is brightly animated and there is never a problem with shadow detail during the transfer.

    The palette displayed during the transfer is always quite bright and varied with the animation, utilizing large sections of solid colour.

    A number of Gibbs artefacts may be seen throughout the transfer. Some examples of these artefacts may be seen at 1:40, 2:17, 3:06, 3:36 and 4:25. These artefacts are moderately distracting due to their frequent occurrence.

    Numerous severe aliasing artefacts continually plague the transfer. Some examples of these artefacts may be seen at 0:59, 1:16, 1:26, 1:28, 1:31 and 1:38. Due to their frequency and severity, these artefacts are extremely disruptive.

    A small film artefact is present at 26:09 but is not irritating.

    A small amount of dot-crawl may be seen at 1:14 and 3:38 but this is quite minor and only very minimally annoying.

    Some obvious cross colouration artefacts may be seen during the closing credits which is slightly disconcerting.

    Two sets of white English subtitles are included on the disc. I extensively sampled both streams and found them to be consistently accurate. The English for the Hearing Impaired stream utilizes a font significantly larger than is commonly used which is slightly distracting.

    The layer change occurs at 58:57 at the start of Chapter 13. It is between episodes and not disruptive.

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

Audio

    A single English Dolby Digital 192 kbps 2.0 soundtrack is provided on this disc.

    The dialogue is clear and easy to understand at all times. As this is an animated feature, there are the expected obvious problems with audio sync for the soundtrack. No dropouts were detected at any stage during the transfer.

    The musical score by Shuki Levy and Kussa Mahchi is used throughout the episodes and helps to set the tone while never drawing attention to itself.

    The surround and subwoofer channels are not utilized during the transfer.

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

Extras

Menu

    The animated menu is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.

Episode 49: Partners in Dangers, Chapter VIII: The Return Of The Green Goblin (20:27)

    This episode is from the third series and, as the name suggests, it features the return of The Green Goblin. This episode is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. No subtitles are included for this episode.

Stan Lee Introductions

    This is a collection of short introductions by Spider-Man creator Stan Lee for each episode in the main program. The following introductions are presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

Stan Lee Soapbox (20:50)

    This is a series of comments from Stan Lee about his creation of the Spider-Man comic series and how he developed his ideas. The segment is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

Rogues Dossiers

    This is an interactive game where viewers must find the outlines of twelve different villains from the Spider-Man series. When a rogue is found, a profile of the villain is displayed along with a short comment by Stan Lee and two short segments featuring the rogue in action. The following rogues are highlighted in this section:

Easter Egg: Doctor Doom (0:54)

    This is a short segment by Stan Lee discussing the character Doctor Doom. To access this Easter egg, select the Main Menu icon on the Setup menu and press the left arrow key to highlight a Spider symbol.

Easter Egg: Stan Lee's Favourite Character (1:05)

    This is a short segment by Stan Lee discussing his favourite comic creation. To access this Easter egg, select the Setup icon on the Subtitle menu and press the left arrow key to highlight a Spider symbol.

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 version of this disc misses out on;

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;

    As the R1 version reportedly has a significantly improved transfer and the same collection of extras, excluding the additional episode, this would be my version of choice.

Summary

    Spider-Man: The Ultimate Villain Showdown is a disappointing collection of episodes that will only be really enjoyed by hardcore fans.

    The video transfer shows significant disruptive artefacts throughout.

    The stereo audio mix is suitable for the material presented.

    The collection of extras with comments by Stan Lee would be the main reason for fans to consider purchasing this disc.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Anthony Kable (read my bio)
Saturday, November 09, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 2109, using S-Video output
DisplaySony KP-E41SN11. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationFront left/right: ME75b; Center: DA50ES; rear left/right: DA50ES; subwoofer: NAD 2600 (Bridged)
SpeakersFront left/right: VAF DC-X; Center: VAF DC-6; rear left/right: VAF DC-7; subwoofer: Custom NHT-1259

Other Reviews NONE
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