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The Amazing Spider-Man 1 & 2 4K Ultra HD Blu-Ray Set (Limited Edition) - Review

The Amazing Spider-Man

The Amazing Spider-Man 1 & 2 4K Ultra HD Blu-Ray Set

In just five short years since the much-maligned Spider-Man 3, Marvel’s Spider-Man gets the rebooted remake in Marc Webb’s thrilling The Amazing Spider-Man.  While, before seeing the picture, one could argue the rationale of such a move on Columbia’s part, the necessity however becomes clear rather quickly as the movie opens.  This is a film – a mythology/canvas – that is not going to miss any opportunities.  We’re in the wake of The Avengers – a film many thought wouldn’t work – and so a superhero’s whole story must be open to inclusion.  Characters – even minor ones – are prepped, studied, and fleshed out and earmarked for future possibilities.  Origins are altered ever so slightly and – using the body design of Ultimate Spider-Man - even Spidey’s senses get their tingle on.  For these reasons and more The Amazing Spider-Man feels complete.

"Webb has done Spider-man’s fans and Stan Lee (who has the best cameo yet) a solid favor with an origin film that literally – on all fronts – kicks some major ass"


 

Written by James Vanderbilt, Steve Kloves, and Alvin Sargent, The Amazing Spider-Man tells the story of one lanky Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) as he struggles with the memory of his parents’ abandonment and what the means for him as he wanders (and rides his skateboard) through the halls of his high school.  He's known for his photographic skills, but mainly he just wants to disappear.  Bullied by Flash Thompson (Chris Zylka) and befriended by Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), Parker stumbles upon a long-thought missing item from his late and mysterious scientist father’s past that leads him to the biotech laboratory of Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans) at Oscorp Industries.

Dr. Connors wants to create a world without weakness and, in doing so, discovers a way for humans to regenerate missing limbs through studies in cross-species genetics.  Here, sneaking into Oscorp, Parker is bitten by a radioactive spider and … well … you know the rest.  He becomes Spider-Man.  Connors becomes The Lizard.  With a playful sense of humor, Webb examines the daily life of a teenager suddenly granted powers that are certainly unnatural.  This time, though, the writers give Parker the comic book-approved web shooters which should please the fans as he takes to the rooftops and fights crime.

Parker, guided by anger/resentment toward a family that abandoned him long ago for no good reason and Uncle Ben’s death, uses his powers to track down the person and people responsible for the tragedy in his life.  He comes clean to Gwen and - after finding no love inside the police force and media - continues the search for himself from behind the mask.  Spider-Man becomes one side of his nature, but his soul – egged on by Ben’s words and a police captain (Denis Leary) – struggles for release as he battles his way in the streets and skies with a stark-raving madman called The Lizard.

Webb, a longtime music video director, brings the strength of his flashy visuals (which in 4K are completely legit) and only previous feature film, (500) Days of Summer, to the Spider-Man story and mines the pages and panes of the comic for some additional emotion and a couple of extra shakes of reality.  Sure, some of the emotion might seem familiar – the only thing that really remains of Raimi’s movies – but the tenderness and compassion shown by a number of characters is solely on the shoulders of Webb.  And, with a mighty arsenal of tech work behind him, only Webb could have some powerfully stirring POV web-slinging shots work so well.The Amazing Spider-Man 1 & 2 4K Ultra HD Blu-Ray Set

The film’s only sour notes come in the familiarity of the story at certain parts (substituting Gwen Stacey for Mary Jane) and the lacking performances from a consistently teary-eyed Sally Field and the remarkably unmoving Martin Sheen as Parker's surrogate parents, Aunt May and Uncle Ben.  In spite of their promise in talent, these two aging stars do nothing to earn their keep as replacements for Rosemary Harris and Cliff Robertson.  Still - when Sheen comes close to the now-famous Robertson speech – Webb surprises us with a dismissal.  Garfield’s Parker brushes the advice aside with an accusatory “How dare you!” and leaves the audience with a nugget to chew on.  Throughout the story, it is these tweaks that save the movie from crossing into too familiar territory.

In what goes down as the best superhero origin movie in quite some time, Webb cleverly slaps moments that ring of pure Americana by borrowing a moment from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom between Parker and Stacey and the original Footloose when Parker discovers his powers and trains...alone…on a dock…surrounded by construction junk.  These wink-wink-nudge-nudge moments of cinema copping, and name-dropping are fun to find, and I suspect – with a poster of Rear Window on the wall of Parker’s bedroom – sprinkled throughout the picture.  Webb loses the emotional momentum a bit with song selections from Coldplay and The Shins, but composer James Horner – placing the trumpet at the front of the score – gives us a fairly iconic new Spider-Man theme to attach our hopes upon.

Marc Webb has done Spider-man’s fans and Stan Lee (who has the best cameo yet) a solid favor with an origin film that literally – on all fronts – kicks some major ass.  It takes only one film to wipe away most of Sam Raimi’s uneven Spider-Man series and its awful use of CG.  In spite of some emotional familiarity, The Amazing Spider-Man is a knockout.  Filled with raw power, some serious web-slinging CG work, and a full-throttled villain, Garfield’s spin on Peter Parker/Spider-Man will have you asking "Tobey Maguire who?" in no time.

5/5 stars

The Amazing Spider-Man 1 & 2 4K Ultra HD Blu-Ray SetThe Amazing Spider-Man 2

In The Amazing Spider-Man 2, we find Garfield’s Spider-man fully embracing, and getting a kick out of, being Spider-man and helping keep New York safe. He’s graduated, and things are looking up for him, but he has broken his promise to Gwen’s dad and resumed their love affair, haunted by the rather pragmatic and true words that Spider-man has enemies and anyone he cares for will be at risk. There are new adversaries afoot, transforming into caustic and dangerous opponents, who will force Spidey to question how he does things, now and for his future.

"a worthy entry into a progressing narrative"


There was a risk in this film, just like the downfall of ‘Spider-man 3’, of having too many stories choking the film and not allowing plot threads to breathe and resonate. They avoid it, just. The narrative is a busy one, with multiple players, but everything cross-connects and comes to bear in an entertaining and satisfying way.

What isn’t as consistent is characterization, with DeHaan’s new rather demonic Harry Osbourne being at the better end of the scale, and Foxx’s Electro coming off the worst. Harry is a tragic figure with a massive chip on his shoulder that becomes dangerous; it accomplishes in one film what Raimi took three to do, and it does it better. Foxx’s character is pretty clichéd, a modern Frankenstein’s monster, but his transformation was far too simplistic and stereotypical for my taste; as a villain he’s imposing, how he becomes the villain doesn’t work. The Peter and Gwen romance is funny, engaging and their ups and down are compelling. More is built upon from the first movie about Peter’s parents and why they left. All the relationship moments for Garfield with both Stone and Field are heart-warming and really hammer home his confliction in letting them be close to him.

The action is spectacular, with new slow-motion parts interjected in moments of complex carnage being thrown at the eye (didn’t see this in 3D yet, but it will be a sight!). The overall tone of the film is a bit funnier than the last one but does in the last act turn quite sinister and affecting.

The Amazing Spider-Man 1 & 2 4K Ultra HD Blu-Ray Set

All the performances from the cast are top notch. Real life couple Garfield and Stone definitely provide a short hand within their characters that transcends simply playing in love: they are in love, and it shows. This helps with the story’s arc for both of them and makes its conclusion all the more affecting. DeHann may be second fiddle in the billing on the poster, but he’s the standout villain in this one, providing a much more nuanced and relatable person to inhabit that Electro: the persecuted nerd (snore).

This film is not without its flaws, and I don’t think this is a better entry than the first one, but when it does hit a nerve, it hits it out of the park, out of the city, out of state. The characters are likable, and you find yourself caring about the trials and tragedies that befall them. It’s a fun movie to watch, and it satisfies in having something to say along with all the spectacle. But for a few missteps, a superior sequel this might have been, but as it stands The Amazing Spider-man 2 is a worthy entry into a progressing narrative.

This limited edition 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray set includes a limited-edition collectible 24-page Digibook featuring photos and behind-the-scenes details and digital codes for both movies.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

4/5 stars

 

The Amazing Spider-Man 1 & 2 4K Ultra HD Blu-Ray Set

4k details divider

DigiBook / Limited Edition Collection – 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray

Home Video Distributor: Sony Pictures
Available on Blu-ray
- October 17, 2017
Screen Formats: 2.39:1
Subtitles
: English, English SDH, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Cantonese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, Greek, Korean, Lithuanian, Mandarin (Simplified), Mandarin (Traditional), Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Swedish, Thai, Turkish
Audio:
English: Dolby AtmosEnglish: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)Czech: Dolby Digital 5.1French: Dolby Digital 5.1German: Dolby Digital 5.1Italian: Dolby Digital 5.1Japanese: Dolby Digital 5.1Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1Russian: Dolby Digital 5.1Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1Turkish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: 4K Ultra HD; Blu-ray Disc; Five-disc set
Region Encoding: 4K region-free; blu-ray lokced to Region A

Catch up the beginning of the Peter Parker saga with THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. Then, when Spider-Man’s enemies unite in THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2, Peter Parker finds that his greatest battle is about to begin. 2017 Digibook Synopsis: The untold story of the legendary web-shooter unfolds in the blockbuster Amazing Spider-Man films, directed by Marc Webb. The saga begins in The Amazing Spider-Man, as Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) becomes Spider-Man and balances being a superhero doing battle against the villainous Lizard alongside his developing relationship with Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone). Then, when Spider-Man's new enemies - including the powerful Electro - unite in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Peter Parker finds that his greatest battle is about to begin.  

Video:

The Amazing Spider-Man 1 & 2 electrifies on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presented in 3840 x 2160p with a widescreen 2.40:1 aspect ratio, using 10-bit video depth, a Wider Color Gamut (WCG) and High Dynamic Range(HDR), encoded using the HEVC (H.265) codec.The 1080p MVC 3D picture was photographed with additional 3D conversion by Legend 3D. Shot digitally, there is a lossless quality to its web-shootin’ ways that makes it something of a dazzler on 4K.  The image is consistently marked with a solid crispness that provides supple amounts of fine detail – both in faces and costumes – and great definition.  The big city atmosphere is not missed either as there is a nice layer of grit and grime to the streets that was largely missing in the last trilogy of films.  Here, the city breathes with grease and texture.  Details are extreme and the color palette is naturally well-balanced with warm and rich hues. Contrast is excellent, with solid and deep blacks and revealing shadow delineation. Fleshtones are naturally cast. As this is a relatively dark visual experience, for optimization view in a black, darkened room through a display device capable of excellent native contrast. The action scenes do intensify the overall effect of the picture, which effectively enhances the excitement and Spider-Man's fluid swings through canyons of the cityscape. It is these action scenes that deliver impressive visuals and dynamically shape the sense of natural space and effective depth. 

Audio:

For both films, the outstanding Dolby TrueHD 7.1 soundtrack is dynamically and spatially engaging, with an aggressive soundfield that is immersive and enveloping, with effective directionalized atmospherics and sound effects

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Discussing the need for a reboot, Director Marc Webb and Producers Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach offer the film’s commentary with explanation before covering the themes and the performances in the picture.  It will be a good listen for anyone interested in Spider-Man’s rich canon of mythology.  Leave it to the writers to deliver a strong commentary track. Writers Alex Kurtzman and Jeff Pinkner and Producers Matt Tolmach and Avi Arad cover the making of the film and its many themes.

Special Features:

This is one of Sony’s bread and butter properties and they treat their fans right with a loaded set of supplemental material that, while not exhaustive in amount, is loaded with lengthy informationals. Fans get treated with The Stan Lee Legacy: From Comic Book to Homecoming where comic book  icon Stan Lee looks back at the history of Spider-Man and the character's cinematic adventures, over 15 Rare Archival Featurettes, and nearly 10 hours of additional archival special features, including commentaries, behind-the-scenes featurettes, deleted scenes, music videos and much more!

  • The Drawing Board: Development and Direction (13 min)
  • Friends and Enemies: Casting (15 min)
  • Second Skins: Spidey Suit and The Lizard (11 min)
  • Spidey Goes West: Production - Los Angeles (16 min)
  • Safe Haven: Production - Sony Studios (16 min)
  • Bright Tights, Big City: Production - New York (10 min)
  • The Greatest Responsibility - Post Production and Release (29 min)
  • Eleven Deleted Scenes (17 min)
  • Sixteen Pre-Visualization (39 min)
  • The Oscorp Archives Production Art Gallery
  • Image Progression Reels
  • Eight Stunt Rehearsals (12 min)
  • Deleted & Alternate Scenes (23 min)
  • The Wages of Heroism: Making The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (103 min)
  • Lessons Learned: Development and Direction (19 min)
  • Heart of the City: Shooting in New York (13 min)
  • Triple Threat: Attack of the Villains (21 min)
  • A More Dangerous World: Transforming Goblin and Electro (10 min)
  • Bolt from the Blue: Visual Effects (18 min)
  • The Music of Amazing Spider-Man 2 with Director Marc Webb (8 min)
  • Alicia Keys Music Video (4 min)

 

4k rating divider

  Video  5/5 stars
  Audio 4/5 stars
  Extras 4/5 stars

Composite Blu-ray Grade

3.5/5 stars

 

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The Amazing Spider-Man 1 & 2 4K Ultra HD Blu-Ray Set

 

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