Tags: 3D, Andrew Garfield, Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, C. Thomas Howell, Campbell Scott, Chris Zylka, Denis Leary, Embeth Davidtz, Emma Stone, Irrfan Khan, Marc Webb, Martin Sheen, Marvel Entertainment, Rhys Ifans, Sally Field, Second Screen, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Spider-Man, UltraViolet
has an average rating of 7.2 on IMDb
is OK but doesn’t do the film justice
1080p in AVC MPEG-4 on 50gb discs
DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
are over 3 HOURS long & ALL Hi-Def!
– 136 minutes
The Blu-ray 3D uses 42.2GB total.
Blu-ray Disc 1 uses 36.0GB for the movie out of 40.5GB total.
Blu-ray Disc 2 uses 27.1GB total for bonus materials.
Overall Verdict – Great but Only Has Decent 3D
— Review written by: Justin Sluss —
The Movie Itself is a reboot of the “Spider-Man” franchise. As I said, this serves as technically a “reboot” of the character so it’s worth mentioning that this film has NO connection whatsoever to the previous three films Sony Pictures had released involving the iconic web-slinging superhero originally created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. This time around we get a fresh new director, Mark Webb whose only previous directing credit includes the film “(500) Days of Summer” from 2009. The story here was written by James Vanderbilt whose previous writing credits include “The Rundown” (2003), “The Zodiac” (2007) and “The Losers” (2010). Vanderbilt also co-wrote the screenplay along with Alvin Sargent and Steve Kloves. It’s worth noting that Alvin Sargent actually worked on the screenplays for “Spider-Man 2” (2004) and “Spider-Man 3” (2007). That being said it’s safe to say that one third of the screenwriting team here has already had a bit of experience with the character . As with most reboots of superhero franchises they’ve decided to make things regarding the origin story a tad bit different as well as make things more realistic and a tad bit darker perhaps. One of the biggest changes to be noticed here is that the protagonist has a different love interest than in those older films, going back to the comic book’s original story.
We’re first introduced to “Peter Parker” at age four. Peter goes into his father’s office at home only to find that it has been ransacked by someone. Soon his father enters the room and starts to quickly pack things up from his desk, erase equations on his chalkboard and whatnot. Peter’s father we can tell is a scientist and it’s quite obvious that someone is trying to steal his work. Peter’s father and mother decide to leave Peter to live with his “Aunt May” (played by Sally Field) and “Uncle Ben” (played by Martin Sheen). His parents say their goodbyes and go into hiding, yet are never to be seen or heard from again. Fast-forward to Peter Parker as a teenager (at this point played by Andrew Garfield) and we can tell that he’s quite the loner at his high school. He spends most of his time taking photographs with his camera and riding his skateboard. He’s secretly got a crush on an adorable intellectual blonde named “Gwen Stacy” (played by Emma Stone), who he admires from afar mostly via the lens of his camera.
As we’re starting to get to know the teenage Peter Parker we see that he may perhaps be a loner but he’s never afraid to stand up to a bully. The bully in this case is named “Flash Thompson” (played by Chris Zylka). After Peter is done admiring Gwen for a while outside he notices that Flash has a fellow student down to the ground trying to make him eat something disgusting. Flash sees that Peter has his camera with him and yells out for him to take a picture. Peter declines to take a photo and in fact insists that Flash put the student down. This doesn’t go over too well with Flash and he delivers a punch right to Peter’s face. Peter comes home that evening and makes up an excuse to his aunt about falling on his skateboard or such. She’s sitting in the kitchen making dinner when in comes uncle Ben barefoot with boxes of his old trophies and tracking water. It’s obvious that the basement is flooding and he’s trying to salvage valuables and things of just sentimental value. He asks Peter to come down to the basement with him, where he first asks if he can help fix the leak, then hands him a slab of meat to put on his face and tells him he knows he got punched. Before heading back upstairs Ben tells Peter to look around and see if there’s anything down there that he wants to keep.
Looking around that flooded basement leads to Peter finding some stuff that used to belong to his father; namely a briefcase and pair of black frame glasses. He brings the briefcase upstairs and his uncle tells him how his father ended up buying that briefcase oddly enough from a store where Peter’s mother worked. Peter isn’t really too concerned about that story as much as he is as to why his father left it there when he can’t seem to find anything in it of any significance. Upon closer investigation Peter manages to find a hidden area of the briefcase where he finds a file from his father’s research. He also finds a picture of his father with his former research partner “Dr. Curt Connors” (played by Rhys Ifans). Ben tells him about Connors and how he never came around after Peter’s parents left. This all leaves Peter curious as to what the work his father was doing holds. He’ll eventually go about doing something a tad bit crazy to find out. He does some research online about Dr. Connors and sees that he has an intern program at “Oscorp” where he works. The only problem is that the intern spots have all been filled. That doesn’t stop Peter though, as he shows up to the front desk and grabs a name tag at random and makes his way up to the labs where Connors works. It’s here where he’s surprised to see that his dream girl Gwen Stacy works and is leading the tour of interns. During the tour eventually Dr. Connors comes out and addresses the fact that he’s missing one of his arms. He’s one to joke about it but we know deep down that it bothers him extremely to not have his arm; in fact, we’ll learn that it has a lot to do with the research he’s working on. He asks a question of the group of interns to which Peter is the only one to deliver the correct answer. It’s at this point that Gwen spots Peter in the back of the group and is a bit surprised he’s there. She later will come up to Peter and notice that he’s wearing the name tag of someone else. Gwen doesn’t really have all too much of a clue why he’s there aside from the fact that he is a very intellectual guy interested in science.
Peter eventually strays away from the interns group and manages to bump into a man carrying a file with the same double 00 markings of the file his father’s research had. He follows this man to a room where he manages to bypass the key code and gains access. It’s in this room that he finds this huge circular device that has spiders spinning webs for what purpose he has no clue. Admiring the device he reaches out and touches one of the webs which results in the spiders falling on him. It’s here where he’ll get the radioactive spider along for a ride that will soon bite him and give him his superpowers. After his visit to Oscorp Peter is riding the subway and has his first experience with his newly acquired abilities. To avoid dishing out any “spoilers” so-to-speak I’ll just say that he manages to make quite a mess. Once he arrives home and is really starting to feel really weird by this point, he grabs a huge amount of food out of the refrigerator which grabs the attention of his aunt and uncle. He locks himself in his room and starts to have some weird problems with things sticking to him. This leads to him doing a bit of research about spider bites on the internet which seems irrelevant at this point. He slowly comes to grips with the fact he’s developed some strange abilities and decides to just go with it. He’ll start to find a real use for it though when his uncle is murdered by a thug. Peter decides to go out each night and try to find the guy using his abilities. It leads to him getting in trouble with both criminals and eventually the police. The NYPD doesn’t take too fondly to masked vigilantes. Namely the one at the NYPD with that opinion is “Captain Stacy” (played by Denis Leary) who happens to be the father of Gwen Stacy. He wants to have this masked guy locked up as he thinks he’s just some lunatic.
Along the way Peter will go through even more changes and he’ll also manage to help Dr. Connors with solving a formula to regrow his arm via the research that he and his father were originally working on. There will be some major changes in store for Dr. Connors as well as he manages to end up regaining his arm but along with the consequence that he transforms into a huge Lizard in the process; and thus “The Lizard” is born so-to-speak. He’s only trying to continue his research but he manages to do a lot of destruction along the way and it will end up being Peter as “Spider-Man” that has to stop him from harming the innocent. He’ll make his own suit and the rest is history. This is the beginning of a superhero and his legacy.
“The Amazing Spider-Man” definitely proves to be an enjoyable film. Andrew Garfield makes a great “Peter Parker” / “Spider-Man” and Rhys Ifans proves to be a worthy adversary as “The Lizard” yet I just can’t seem to bring myself to like this one anywhere near as much as I did the “Spider-Man” film from 2002 (directed by Sam Raimi). It’s worth noting that Emma Stone also makes a great “Gwen Stacy” and the chemistry between her and Garfield is believable. The newly redesigned “Spidey” costume is very cool looking but yet again, I still seem to like that original 2002 one better. That’s not to say this isn’t a good film, because it actually is. It’s just hard to get used to new things I guess. One thing I didn’t particularly care for in terms of the story was the inclusion of Peter’s parents. Sure it made a great connection to how he’d end up meeting “Curt Connors” and such via his father’s previous work but I didn’t really want that included in the backstory. I know that it’ll eventually come to have more significance in the sequel(s) and not just be something to push the plot along but for now I just wasn’t digging that. Speaking of sequel, they already have confirmed that “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” will be released in 2014, with director Marc Webb back as well as Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone.
Critics actually seemed to like this reboot as you can tell by the 76% (out of 100%) rating and “Certifiably Fresh” badge over on Rotten Tomatoes. It seems to have been liked as well by moviegoers as it sports a 81% (out of 100%) rating over there on Rotten Tomatoes from the audience and holds a pretty nice 7.3 (out of 10) rating over on IMDb. In terms of box office ticket sales (according to Box Office Mojo)) this did pretty good, as it ended up grossing $262 million domestic and $490 million foreign — for a combined total of $752 million worldwide. That and it the film reportedly had a $230 million budget, which it made back just in domestic ticket sales. Now that it’s on home video it’s sure to continue to make Sony money and I’m sure the sequel will do equally as good.
This marks the second film I’ve seen on Blu-ray 3D to have been shot using the Red Epic camera and 3Ality Technica Atom 3D rig. The Red Epic camera shoots in dual-strip 3-D at a 5K resolution. The other film I’ve seen shot using this same setup on the Blu-ray 3D format is “Nitro Circus: The Movie 3D” which I just recently reviewed. The 3D effects just didn’t do it for me there, as they felt they weren’t doing the amazing visuals justice and I sadly have to say that to be the case here as well. However, this does have some moments where it offers some decent 3D in terms of depth and pop which I’ll discuss below.
Things start out really dark in the opening scenes with the backstory to how “Peter” came to live with his aunt and uncle. There’s really not very much depth and by no means any pop here in these scenes. A lot of that has to do with the lighting conditions, which make it start up feeling really flat. At the 6 minutes mark I still hadn’t seen anything really to give me much of a substantial sense of 3D depth or pop — in fact I almost felt I’d been better off watching it in 2D at this point. However, in fairness, about 8 or 9 minutes in I started to notice that the actors and some objects were standing out from the background and such in terms of depth — but just a slight bit. It was around 17 minutes in during the brighter scene at the “Oscorp” labs where I started to really notice some decent 3D depth and a tad bit of 3D pop from the CG on the “Tree of Life” as well as some alright effects via reflections on glass. Yet I still just wasn’t finding things to be anywhere near impressive, as I had certainly expected from a film of this budget. Things start to get better though as the film progresses along. By the 34 minutes mark and the 37 minutes mark when Peter is skateboarding in the warehouse you’ll see some pretty decent 3D effects in terms of both depth and pop as he’s climbing and swinging from chains — as pictured in screenshots.
40 minutes in when Dr. Connors is using the “Tree of Life” to show Peter a lizard regenerating its tail you’ll notice that both it and the three-legged mouse here stand out with a pretty nice amount of 3D pop to them and decent amount of depth — as seen HERE. This CG created user interface seems to hold some nice depth to in general. It’s nothing too extreme though but cool none-the-less. 52 minutes in things start to really have some really decent 3D depth and pop as Peter is doing a handstand on a building and then proceeds to make his first attempt at using his web shooters for web-slinging. It’s not much longer until 54 minutes in when we get to see the POV (point of view) sequence where you’ll almost feel like you’re right there in the suit swinging through the air and eventually landing on a reflective glass skyscraper. This sequence looks really good in 3D but is just way too short — as even the director Marc Webb I think noted somewhere in the bonus materials. This (referred to as the “mirror’s edge” sequence) serves as one of the highlights in the 3D presentation and its entirely CG rendered. It’s most of the entirely CG rendered sequences that do stand out the most in 3D in fact. 58 minutes in you’ll get to see a bit more web-slinging which looks cool and has a nice amount of depth and pop. When “The Lizard” makes his first appearance on a bridge you’ll see some cool 3D effects and start to notice how much the web stands out in terms of pop. Roughly an hour and a half in during the sequence in the sewer you’ll really see what I mean by how much the web stands out. The fully CG rendered fight sequence HERE looks pretty nice and serves as yet another highlight. Another CG rendered fight sequence as seen HERE is quite nice as well and again one of the 3D highlights.
Those highlights I’ve mentioned are cool but the real memorable highlight of the 3D seems to come near the climatic end of the film. It all builds up there somewhat nicely but it just doesn’t feel like it ever achieves enough 3D intensity. Plus we have to settle for a whole lot of subtle use of 3D along the way. The fact the 3D is so subtle at times I think is really the disappointing part here as well as how dark (dim) the 3D presentation seems as a result of how they chose to light things or go for a darker visual style. That just didn’t seem to translate very well to 3D. Brighter usually means better in terms of 3D, I’ve found. It’s not the worst 3D I’ve ever seen but like I said earlier, for a film of this budget and with these type of awesome visuals you would expect the 3D to have been a lot more impressive. All and all here this earns itself a decent “3.5 Star Rating” for overall 3D quality. The sad fact is that I’ve seen some 2D to 3D conversions that look way better than this and this was actually shot in 3D. I think they need to perhaps go back to the drawing board so-to-speak on that 3Ality rig and Red Epic camera. It just doesn’t seem to deliver the most impressive 3D presentations. As I stated, I’ve seen two films on Blu-ray 3D now that used that setup and neither seemed to amaze me all that much.
Video Quality on this release is in full 1080p using the AVC MPEG-4 codec on a BD-50 (50 gigabyte dual-layered Blu-ray Disc) in the 2.40:1 aspect ratio. As I’d mentioned above (in 3D Quality) according to the technical specifications listing on IMDb this was shot in the 5K resolution using the Red Epic camera. There’s a perfectly solid black level here, as well as accurate fleshtones and eventually a somewhat vibrant color palette (in 2D) — although the film starts out feeling a tad bit subdued in terms of color. In fact, in general the film is pretty dark in terms of lighting conditions for a good majority of the film. That’s to be expected of a New York setting in ways but you do eventually get the bright lights during a climactic night scene near the end of the film. The nicest looking scenes that seem the most well lit are those inside of the “Oscorp” labs where it’s mostly white with bright lights and lots of glass. There’s a really impressive amount of detail here for the most part thanks to the 5K source, especially in close-ups. The CG looks pretty impressive here in Hi-Def and doesn’t show off any flaws. The CG used on “The Lizard” looks really cool and the scenes where “Spidey” is completely rendered in CG look very cool as well. One of my favorite scenes visually in the film has to be the POV (point of view) shot where “Spider-Man” is web-slinging and ends up on a glass skyscraper where we get to see a reflection of him in costume — as seen in the screenshot above. This scene looks really cool in Hi-Def and even in 2D seems to make you feel like you’re almost right there inside the suit. All and all this offers up an impressive visual presentation in Hi-Def and only has a few flaws due to how the Red Epic camera handles lighting conditions. I didn’t spot any DNR use or signs of compression. “The Amazing Spider-Man” on Blu-ray Disc and Blu-ray 3D is very impressive (as mentioned) and earns itself a “4.5 Star Rating” for overall video quality. If perhaps they would have worked a tad bit harder on getting the lighting conditions brighter to work well with the Red Epic camera it could have easily delivered a perfect presentation.
Audio Quality on this release is presented in DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio. By far one thing that stands out about this 5.1 lossless mix from the very beginning of the film is the beautiful original music composed by James Horner. In the opening scene it feels very subtle and slowly begins to build up a bit more intense as things progress. Eventually in the film during action scenes and whatnot it’ll achieve a perfect amount of intensity and really deliver some very impressive rear channel presence and LFE (bass). The original music and songs on the Soundtrack are delivered through primarily the front left and right channel speakers and the same goes for sound effects. Sound effects can really pack quite a nice bit of intensity to them as well and equally share the 4 channels (front left & right as well as rear left & right) very nicely. Dialogue is delivered very distinctly through the center channel and is at a perfect level where you won’t find it ever being overpowered by the music or sound effects. That being said, there will be no need here for any volume adjustments. The sound effects of Spidey’s web shooters are very cool and grab your attention. Speaking of sound effects and grabbing your attention, anything involving “The Lizard” is sure to come with some intense LFE, which is very awesome in terms of sound. Around 49 minutes in is when you’ll really start to notice that James Horner’s score begins to build up in terms of intensity — fitting the vibe of the film perfectly. Perfect is exactly how I’d describe this mix, as it does the film justice and Horner’s score justice. “The Amazing Spider-Man” on Blu-ray earns itself a perfect “5 Star Rating” for overall audio quality. It does have some subtle moments but it also has a whole lot of action-packed intense moments that make it earn that rating.
Bonus Materials on this release are ALL presented in full 1080p Hi-Def (HD) video quality with Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo @192kbps sound.
A Blu-ray 3D of the film also includes the following:
- Audio Commentary with Marc Webb, Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach
- “3D 101 with Director Marc Webb” (6:22 – 3D HD) has the director showing you the 3Ality Technica Atom 3D rig and Red Epic cameras. He does a pretty good job of explaining convergence and other parts of 3D filmmaking. After the video you’ll be able to watch three different key 3D sequences from the film and change the convergence settings via either the “green” or “angle” button on your Blu-ray player’s remote control. The sequences you can view are the following:
- — “Tree of Life” Sequence
- — “Mirror’s Edge” Sequence
- — “Crane” Sequence
A Blu-ray Disc of the film in 2D includes the following:
- Audio Commentary with Marc Webb, Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach
- “The Amazing Spider-Man Second Screen” gives you the ability to experience the film alongside content on your iPad, Sony Tablet S or Xperia Tablet S via the downloadable application from either the iTunes App Store or Android Marketplace. This displays things in sync with the Movie Timeline such as Production Notes, CG Models, Storyboards and more, which you can “flick” over from your tablet to your TV.
- “What is The Amazing Spider-Man Second Screen Experience?” (1:04 – HD) first gives you text instructions on how to acquire the app, how to use it and such. The video itself serves as both a demo and a tutorial of the feature.
A Blu-ray Disc with Special Features contains the following:
- “Rite of Passage: The Amazing Spider-Man Reborn” (1:49:49 – HD) is split up into seven sections. This includes tons of behind-the-scenes footage on set and at the studios, as well as interviews with the following people: Laura Ziskin (Producer), Avi Arad (Producer), Matt Tolmach (Producer), James Vanderbilt (Screenwriter), Marc Webb (Director), Andrew Garfield (“Peter Parker” / “Spider-Man“), Rhys Ifans (“Dr. Curt Connors” / “The Lizard“), Emma Stone (“Gwen Stacey“), Denis Leary (“Captain Stacy“), Sally Field (“Aunt May“), Martin Sheen (“Uncle Ben“), Kym Garret (Costume Designer), Stan Lee (Executive Producer/Co-Creator), Joseph Richard Collins (Specialty Costumer), J. Michael Riva (Production Designer), Ve Neill (Make-Up Dept. Head), N.C. Page Buckner (Art Director), Mike Fantasia (Location Manager), Michael Grill (Executive Producer), Vic Armstong (Second Unit Director), Andy Armstrong (Stunt Coordinator), Leslie A. Pope (Set Decorator), Jim Schwalm (Special Effects Coordinator), John Frazier (Special Effects Supervisor), Mark Noel (Special Effects Foreman), C. Thomas Howell (“Jack’s Father“), Jake Ryan Keiffer (“Jack“), Irrfan Khan (“Rajit Ratha“), Jerome Chen (Visual Effects Supervisor), Andrew M. Siegel (Property Master), David Luckenbach (“B” Camera Operator), Tyler Barnett (Stunt Crew), John Schwartzman, A.S.C. (Director of Photography), James Armstrong (Stunt Coordinator), Alan Edward Bell, A.C.E. (Editor), Michael McCusker, A.C.E. (Additional Editor), David A. Smith (Digital Effects Supervisor), David Schaub (Additional Animation Supervisor) and James Horner (Composer). To give you an idea of the topics discussed and such the seven sections that this featurette is split up into are listed below:
- — “The Drawing Board: Development and Direction“
- — “Friends and Enemies: Casting“
- — “Second Skins: Spidey Suit and The Lizard“
- — “Spidey Goes West: Production – Los Angeles“
- — “Safe Haven: Production – Sony Studios“
- — “Bright Tights, Big City: Production – New York“
- — “The Greatest Responsibility – Post-Production and Release“
- — “Spider-Man“
- — “The Lizard“
- — “Environments“
- A DVD of the film in Standard Definition with Dolby Digital 5.1 @448kbps sound is also included in this “combo pack” release. This includes the following bonus materials:
- — Audio Commentary with Marc Webb, Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach
- — Deleted Scenes
- — “Stunt Rehearsals“
- — “The Oscorp Archives Production Art Gallery“
Other bonus material:
- An UltraViolet streaming / downloadable digital copy of the film is included on a paper insert that is redeemable via a URL with the code included.
- An EXCLUSIVE “Human Spider” suit (costume) to be used in “The Amazing Spider-Man” Android & iOS video game from Gameloft is included on a paper insert with a redeem code. The odd thing though is this isn’t the costume from the film but in fact the one from the original “Spider-Man” movie. Regardless it’s very cool for those, like myself, that own this portable game. A screenshot of this costume in the game can be found below.
- A Recipe for “Spidey Peanut Butter Cookies” is included on a paper insert. This is a cross-promotion with Skippy brand peanut butter.
Overall the bonus materials here prove to be as solid as the film itself. Most notably you get a very in-depth and lengthy “making of” featurette that comes with a 1 hour 50 minutes runtime, which alone tops most bonus materials found on some releases. Plus you get some Blu-ray 3D EXCLUSIVES that are actually in 3D like the “3D 101 with Director Marc Webb” and the Image Progression Reel. Those are certainly cool to see included. Then you have another roughly hour and a half of bonus materials on the 2nd Blu-ray Disc. Add all this up and you get around 207 minutes (over 3 HOURS) of bonus materials, which are ALL presented in Hi-Def. Not to mention the fact you get some digital and physical bonus materials in the form of a standard Blu-ray Disc (2D) version of the film, a DVD and UltraViolet digital copy of the film as well as a few other things. This is one very impressive set of supplemental material.
Blu-ray Disc packaging:
NOTE: The full-sized 1920×1080 files are in a .PNG file format and uncompressed. Please be patient with the slow loading times, keep in mind these files are at least 1MB (1 megabyte) in size each.