on 11 July 2012
I'm not going to do a traditional review for this set: it looks great, it sounds great, it's dirt-cheap, and that's pretty much all you need to know. Other reviews will go into more detail about these things.
What I AM going to do here is clear up a bit of confustion regarding the special features and whatnot. While the backs of the individual Blu-ray cases seem to list all of the extras, they are NOT complete and do not mention several of the extras that are actually on the discs. The reviews on here listing the features are just taken from the backs of the boxes, so hopefully this will make everything clear. So, without further ado, here's the full list. (All special features are from the original 2-disc DVDs unless stated otherwise.)
Spider Sense Trivia Challenge (Blu-ray exclusive)
Spider-Man Cutting Room (Blu-ray exclusive)
Commentary by Filmmakers and Cast
Commentary by Visual Effects Designer and Crew
Commentary by Tobey Maguire and J.K. Simmons (previously only available on the Region 1 "Superbit" DVD release, making it the first time this commentary has been released in Europe)
Spider-Man: The Mythology of the 21st Century documentary
HBO Making of Spider-Man
"Spider-Mania" - an E! Entertainment Special
Director & Composer Profiles
Behind the Scenes of Spider-Man (7 featurettes previously only available on the 3-disc Deluxe Edition DVD from 2004)
Webisodes (previously only available via multi-angle branching on the original DVD; they are presented here as separate features)
Gags & Outtakes
Original Theatrical Trailer
SPIDER-MAN 2 / SPIDER-MAN 2.1 (original availability of extras in parenthesis)
Commentary by Cast & Crew (2)
Technical Commentary (2)
Commentary by Laura Ziskin & Alvin Sargent (2.1)
Blooper Reels (2)
Hero in Crisis featurette (2)
Ock-Umentary - 8 Arms to Hold You featurette (2)
Making the Amazing - A 12 Part Documentary (2)
VFX Breakdowns (2.1)
Commentary with Director & Cast
Music Video "Signal Fire" by Snow Patrol
SO WHAT'S MISSING?
Even though this set contains more extras than at first glance, it still doesn't contain everything from the DVDs, so you may want to hang on to those if you already have them.
The first film by far fares the best in terms of retention of extras, and both of the features it loses are pretty disposeable:
"Weaving the Web" Trivia Track
Peter Parker's Darkroom: Photo Gallery
SPIDER-MAN 2 / SPIDER-MAN 2.1
Spider-Man 2.1 takes a big hit in the extras department, with most of its features MIA, plus a few strange omissions from the original Spider-Man 2 release:
Interwoven: The Women of Spider-Man featurette (2) [considering the other two featurettes from SM2 were included, this is a particularly glaring omission]
Spidey Sense 2 Trivia Track (2 and 2.1)
"Enter the Web" multi-angle feature (2)
Theatrical Trailer (2)
Photo Gallery (2)
Inside 2.1 documentary (2.1)
With Great Effort Comes Great Recognition featurette (2.1)
Villains of Spider-Man 3 Featurette (2.1)
Multi-Angle Score (2.1)
Spider-Man 3 Sneak Peek featurette (2.1)
The biggest loss from the DVDs and the previous Blu-ray trilogy set from 2007 is the bonus disc of Spider-Man 3, which contains the majority of that film's extras, which leaves the one in this set pretty sparse in the bonuses department (though this is sort-of made up for by the inclusion of extras on the other 2 films unlike the 2007 trilogy). I'm not going to list all of the features that aren't on here, since I'd just be listing the contents of the second disc; suffice to say it's a lot. The first disc even says "Feature Disc" when you boot it up, and the disc itself reads "Feature Film"; obviously Disc 1 of the 2-disc set has just been stuck in a new case without its other half.
However, if you're desperate to have all of the special features on Blu-ray, you can now get the original release of SM3 for around 2 quid used, so it's really not a big deal. You can even physically place the "hinge" from the old case in the new one so that your shiny new Spider-Man 3 Blu-ray is a complete 2-disc set once again and give the spare movie disc/case to a friend, like I did.
IN THE END...
I was tempted to knock a star off of this review for the pointless exclusion of the Spider-Man 3 bonus disc, but for this price, and the host of new-to-Blu extras for the first two films, it's hard to complain. If you're an extras nut then it'll literally cost you pennies to get that disc separately if you so desire.
Three great films, one great price, if you have a Blu-ray player and you like Spider-Man then this is a no-brainer. I hope you found this review helpful.
on 15 September 2007
Coded for all regions (A, B and C)
1080P 1.85:1 Widescreen
English Dolby True HD 5.1 Surround
English Audio Description Track 5.1
Czech, Hungarian and Russian DD5.1 Surround
Subtitles: English, English HOH, Arabic, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Slovene, Swedish, Turkish
Spider-Man 2 - Also includes Spider-Man 2.1 which features 8 minutes of additional footage.
1080P 2.40:1 Widescreen
English Dolby True HD 5.1 Surround
English Audio Description Track 2.0
Czech and Polish (VO) DD5.1 Surround
Subtitles: English, English HOH, Arabic, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Icelandic, Polish, Romanian, Slovene, Turkish
2-Disc Special Edition release of Spider-Man 3 include...
Disc 1: Main Feature
English PCM 5.1 (Uncompressed)
English Dolby True HD 5.1 Surround (Lossless)
English Audio Description Track
Czech, Hungarian, Russian and Polish DD5.1 Surround
Subtitles (Main Feature): English, English HOH, Dutch, Arabic, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Estonian, Finnish, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Slovene, Swedish, Turkish
Subtitles (Extras): English and Dutch (including commentaries), Greek
Commentary with Director & Cast
Photo Gallery: Sketches
Photo Gallery: Paintings
Photo Gallery: Sculptures
Photo Gallery: Special Effects
Photo Gallery: Director & Cast
Music Video: Snow Patrol - Signal Fire
Disc 2: Extra Features
Easter Egg: Scoring the Blooper Reel
Easter Egg 2: Grant Curtis ADR Session
Featurette: Grains of Sand - Building Sandman
Featurette: Re-imagining the Goblin
Featurette: Covered in Black - Creating Venom
Featurette: Hanging On... Gwen Stacy & the Collapsing Floor
Featurette: Fighting, Flying & Driving - The Stunts
Featurette: Tangled Web - The Love Triangles of Spider-Man 3
Featurette: Wall of Water: The Big Dump
Featurette: Inside the Editing Room
Featurette: The Science of Sound
Featurette: On Location New York - From Rooftops to Backstreets
Featurette: On Location Cleveland - The Chase on Euclid Avenue
TV Spots Around the World: Japan, Spain, Germany, Italy, Chile, Russia, Brazil, UK
Spider-Man 3 Trailers
Features the adventures of the famous webslinger as he battles numerous adversaries in SPIDER-MAN, SPIDER-MAN 2, and SPIDER-MAN 3.
In SPIDER-MAN, high school student Peter Parker gets bitten by a genetically modified spider whilst on a school trip to a University laboratory. Overnight Peter develops supernatural powers and extreme strength. At first he uses his new talents for his own material gain but Peter eventually comes to the conclusion that he must use his new found abilities to fight evil as the super-hero Spider-Man.
In SPIDER-MAN 2, Peter Parker is having problems with his double life as the superhero Spider-Man and as things get worse he decides never to be Spider-Man again. It's only when the scientist Dr Otto Octavius becomes deformed in a freak accident into Dr Octopus that he realises that only Spider-Man can stop him.
In SPIDER-MAN 3, the webbed superhero and his girlfriend, Mary Jane, get embroiled in a love triangle while he is forced to confront a new slate of dastardly villains and a power that changes his very personality.
on 29 November 2015
This is insanely good value for money and I definitely recommend purchasing this set. You'll get a really solid opener, a nearly flawless sequel and a sub-par third one.
As others have already pointed out the plot of all 3 films follows similar patterns, Spider-man struggling with his powers, having relationship trouble with MJ and battling against a supervillian who also happens to be connected to his social life.
I loved Sam Raimi's take on the Spider-man story, felt very much like I was smack bang in the middle of a comic book.
To start with the first movie, the film introduces Peter as an unpopular high-school student, the victim of bullies and hopelessly in love with his next door neighbor but too timid to make a move. Peter's only proper friend seems to be Harry Osborne, another outcast whose powerful father takes a keen interest in Peter's welfare and scientific mind. After being bitten by a radioactive spider Peter discovers new abilities which he slowly learns to control. I loved the sequence of Peter at the wrestling arena, an example of him first intending to use his powers for more self-indulgent reasons. However the death of his Uncle transforms him into a crime fighting superhero motivated purely by altruistic reasons. In a small way Peter is still able to benefit from being Spider-man though, his photos of Spider-man help him pursue work as a photographer, one his dreams. The key events in the creation of Spider-man are paralleled in the creation of the Green Goblin who will become the main antagonist of the film. Osborne's desperation to hurry through his research backfire and he is transformed into a madman with superhuman strength and agility, who first seeks personal vengeance against a certain individuals but later just seems out to cause chaos and terror in New York. Peter, Harry and MJ graduate from high-school with Peter and Harry sharing an apartment, Peter continues to be in love with MJ but to his dismay finds Harry and her are now going out. MJ however has become fixated with Spider-man after he saves her on 2 different occasions. The strong emotional connection Peter really has in the film though is with his Aunt May as she continues to impart wisdom and love to him during the story. To move towards the ending Spider-man and the Green Goblin clash several times, with the Goblin discovering Peter's true identity and using this to his advantage by going after the women Peter loves most. After a final climatic fight Peter overcomes the Goblin and decides he cannot pursue his love for MJ as doing so would likely place her in harms way again. End of film.
The first film was really great but does contain a few flaws, the design of the Goblin's mask as some have pointed out looks not so much scary as almost funny, but perhaps true to the comic book feel the film was going for.
Secondly the special effects were good in their day but are starting to look quite dated now, especially CGI Spider-man crawling up walls.
Thirdly Kirsten Dunst as MJ didn't impress me at all, her delivery is very one note, after being cornered in a dark alley and coming moments from being raped and possibly murdered her first reaction to being saved is this really chirpy, flippant "you have a knack for saving my life." Her character doesn't really have any depth or development during the film unlike Peter, Harry and Norman. She's basically a plot device to create conflict between Peter, Harry and Norman. To compare this to the 2012 version, Emma Stone acts circles round Dunst.
Overall though I really liked the first film, the casting was nearly all great, the visuals were colourful, bright and the story felt tight and well put together. 8/10.
The second film sees Peter struggling to balance the demands in his personal life with being a super-hero. His relationship with MJ and Harry both suffer as a result of the double life he leads. After concluding that being Spider-man is becoming a thankless job that has cost him his relationship with his best friend, the girl he loves and is damaging his grades he decides enough is enough at throws in the towel. You really feel for Peter as he lives in poverty and looks downbeat and exhausted throughout the first half of the film. Peter uses the opportunity to try and start a proper relationship with MJ but is he too late? The second half of the film sees Peter returning back to the theme that with his amazing powers does come an obligation to protect and help people, MJ is kidnapped again by a supervillian who like the Goblin is a good hearted scientist gone mad, The final fight have a great deal of weight to them and were some of the best executed I've seen both on the train and at the docks. It's the combination of this internal struggle in Peter and the well animated fast action which make this film so awesome. 10/10
The third and final film was a disappointment which likely led to the reboot that followed. I felt what this film failed to learn from the first two was the importance of having a likeable, vulnerable proganoist we genuinely cared about and were routing for. In this new one as the result of a strange plot device Peter's behavior becomes more and more unpleasant and egotistical. Neither MJ or Harry are really set up for us to invest in instead though, the result is a film where we don't really feel an emotional connection to whats doing on. The love triangle from the first film is wheeled out again with MJ this time cheating on Peter with Harry. The staff behind the film then decide to dress Peter in black and give him an emo hair style which looks pretentious and daft rather than awesome or menacing. The film does have some redeeming qualities with Spider-man strongly motivated to seek vengeance against the new uncovered duel suspect in his uncles murder. The fight in the underground was really well executed and perfectly captures the darker mode of this film. Peter eventually comes to terms with the consequences of his behavior and the story pushes him back into action after MJ is kidnapped, (yet again) Peter and Harry team up against the two villains at the end. Annoyingly though they keep stopping the fight to have these silly conversations before going back to the fight. The film wraps up with Harry's death and the departing of Sandman. 5/10