Blu-ray Review: The Amazing Spider-Man

The Amazing Spider-Man Blu-ray boxSTUDIO: Sony | DIRECTOR: Marc Webb | CAST: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Martin Sheen, Sally Field, Denis Leary, C. Thomas Howell
BLU-RAY & DVD RELEASE DATE: 11/9/2012 | PRICE: DVD $30.99, Three-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo $40.99, Four-Disc Blu-ray 3D Combo $55.99, Limited Edition Gift Set $95.99
BONUSES: featurettes, commentary, artwork, Second Screen app, pre-vis
SPECS: PG-13 | 136 min. | Science-fiction | 2.40:1 aspect ratio | 5.1 DTS-HD audio | English, Chinese, Indonesian, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai subtitles
RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

The Amazing Spider-ManWhen I first saw the trailers for The Amazing Spider-Man, I thought, ‘Really? A reboot already? And one that looks just like the older films?’ But my skepticism quickly disappeared when I watched this movie. It’s fresh and fun, plus, of course, packed with action, some good comedy and lots of heart.

Andrew Garfield (The Social Network) is an excellent Peter Parker, strong but vulnerable, smart but not always sensible, and sensitive with just the right amount of dork. His opposite, Emma Stone (The Help) as Mary Jane, is good if not, at times, a little mature, although that’s partly due to the script (how many high school seniors are head interns for big scientists?).

The story has perhaps more heart than the Tobey Maguire films of the 2000s, building more on the mysterious disappearance of Parker’s parents and how that affected the boy. And that gives the movie a good contrast from its action and heightens Parker’s anger. Director Marc Webb, helming only his second film after (500) Days of Summer, did a great job of keeping the pace moving, balancing well between drama, romance and danger.

The Amazing Spider-Man looks and sounds great in Blu-ray’s high-definition. The sound is especially spectacular and will have your seats bumping in some scenes if you have a good base speaker.

Also impressive are the disc’s special features. The movie can be played with a commentary by director Webb and producers Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach, as well as the Second Screen app, which allows footage to be shown on your computer or tablet while the film plays. Our advice: Enjoy the movie by itself then stick in the second Blu-ray disc in the package and snuggle in. It’s loaded with interesting and entertaining featurettes and more.

Rite of Passage: The Amazing Spider-Man Reborn is more than 90 minutes of featurettes that cover just about every aspect of the movie’s production. Webb, Garfield, Stone and others are seen in multiple interviews, talking about the fun they had — and anticipation for tackling such a beloved franchise — during the movie’s shoot. Denis Leary (TV’s Rescue Me) and Martin Sheen (Wall Street) talk about how they both wish they could come back for a sequel, with Leary actively campaigning for the chance.

The featurettes go in-depth with everything from visual effects, costume design (the inspirations behind this particular Spidey suit), stunts, editing and scoring. And there’s lot of fun footage with Garfield flying around on wires doing stunts himself.

The disc also offers a handful of decent deleted scenes, stunt rehearsal footage set to music, pre-visualizations and image progression reels. It’s a film lover’s dream and the reason we graded the disc at 5 even though the movie is a 4.

Our only complaint goes to Sony for putting so many ads on the disc before you can get to the menu. There’s only one we didn’t mind, with Garfield promoting the good work of Worldwide Orphans Foundation, a program that’s obviously close to his heart.

 

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About S. Clark

Sam Clark is the former Managing Editor/Online Editor of Video Business magazine. With 19 years experience in journalism, 12 in the home entertainment industry, Sam has been hooked on movies on since she saw E.T. then stared into the sky waiting to meet her own friendly alien. Thanks to her husband’s shared love of movies, Sam reviews Blu-ray discs in a true home theater, with a 118-inch screen, projector and cushy recliners with cup holders.