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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon December 6, 2002
When Spider-Man was released in the theaters, I heard many people say that they didn't know why Tobey Magurie was cast as the Web Spinner. What they don't realize is that Stan Lee originally conceived of Spider-Man as an average sort of person with everyone could relate. As Rosemary Harris as Aunt May says in the film, "You're not Superman." Maguire is perfectly cast as Peter Parker/Spider-Man. He is of average height, underplays instead of overacts and is just as convincing at playing a high school nerd as he is at playing a super hero.
Kirsten Dunst, likewise, is terrific as Mary Jane Watson. With her looks (and body), it would be easy for her to simply physically match the character. However she also manages to embody the character's vulnerability that she hides beneath her confident and charismatic exterior. Having seen very few of her adult roles, I never would have pegged Dunst for the role. However, having seen her in the role, I can't see anyone else playing it.
There was much talk about the special effects in Spider-Man as there always seems to be with blockbusters like this. However, to me, the casting is the true strength of the film. Maguire, Dunst, Harris as Aunt May, Cliff Robertson as Uncle Ben and Willem Dafoe as Norman Osborne are all perfectly cast and show that a film can have all the latest technical wizardry, but still must depend on its actors to flesh out the characters and make the audience believe and care about what happens to them.
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51 of 61 people found the following review helpful
on May 5, 2002
What can I possibly say but WOW! This movie is truly a dream come true for a long time Spider-man fan like me. Not only was the movie made but the movie was made RIGHT!
Many directors and artists in Hollywood claim to be fans of comic book heroes, but when it comes time for them to actually put it together they fail miserably. But not here. Sam Rami is a TRUE Spider-man fan-- and he did what a true fan would do. He stayed true to the source and to the material. He captured the essence of Spider-man and his history. He didn't decide to pretentiously add his own mark like Tim Burton did with the laughable Batman movie. Rami stayed true to the comic. This is the Spider-man I read about month for the last 13 years.
I really did not think that anyone could top the X-Men, but Rami has and I don't just mean because of the special effets. I also mean in terms of the plot and character development. This is not a long drawn out movie filled with pointless violence. It is a well plotted story that moves effortlessly from point to point. Who would have thought that so much could be fit into two hours? And the end, I won't give it away , but who on earth would have thought that it would have ended that way. Instead of going for the same old boring cliche Hollywood ending--Rami tacks on an original one which hints towards the future.
Tobey Maguire was not my first choice to play Peter Parker. But boy does he deliver! I understand that he worked hard to get this part and boy does it show! He plays Peter just the way he was portrayed in the book! Kristen Dunst also was excellent,I did not think that she could pull off the part of Mary Jane. She's a lovely girl but not the super-model that MJ is in the comic book. But I was pleasantly surprised with what was done with the character.
After being disapointed with the unseeminly endless rubish that Hollywood has produced lately I am now, in the words of Mr. Stan Lee, a true believer. Thanks Sam Rami for not butchering a character I consider to be like a brother and restoring my faith that there are film makers out there who actually care about film making!
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
At this point, I will assume that everyone is familiar with the film itself - it is a great piece of entertainment. The film itself, the image quality, and the audio specs all remain the same as the previous blu-ray release: Spider-Man [Blu-ray].

Here are the main differences between the previous Spider-Man blu-ray and this newer version:
- Bonus Material, including an audio commentary and several featurette (all of which come from the Special Edition DVD but were not on the previous blu-ray) have been included here.
- There is new cover art for the blu-ray
- Included is an Ultraviolet streaming copy of the film that works with various portable devices so that you can watch the film on-the-go.

Obviously, the studio is releasing this new blu-ray to capitalize on/promote "The Amazing Spider-Man" film which arrives in theaters this summer. But the least they could have done for this "new" blu-ray is give us some new material, whether it be an extended cut of the film or some new features.

So while I love this movie, I really see no reason to buy it again because it doesn't add much to the experience that I am getting now with the previous Spider-Man discs that I own. But if you are new to blu-ray or did not own the previous version, then I highly recommend you pick this up.

And below are links to "Spider-Man 2" and "Spider-Man 3":
Spider-Man 2 (+ UltraViolet Digital Copy) [Blu-ray]
Spider-Man 3 (+ UltraViolet Digital Copy) [Blu-ray]
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
For starters "Spider-Man" is probably the most faithful translation of a comic book superhero to the big screen. Throughout the movie I kept thinking, yes, this is in "Amazing Fantasy" #15, that is from the cover of "Spider-Man" #39, and that is what "really" happened to the Green Goblin. Go back and look at "Batman," "Superman" or any other comic book film and you will find that beyond the basic plot of their origin, you will not find anything reminding you of specific issues or great moments from the actual comic books. On this score I believe the credit goes to director Sam Raimi, but there is always the possibility David Koepp's screenplay might have had something to do with it (note: Stan Lee and Steve Ditko get credit for creating Spider-Man but John Romita, Sr. deserves some credit too given that much of his artwork is invoked by the film as well).
Of course there are differences, because film is a different medium from comic books (feel free to quote me on that one). Some of the changes result from a desire to provide an appropriate rationale for Spidey's powers. This means we get a scientist providing expositionary details during the visit to the lab where the spider (now genetically enhanced rather than radioactive) puts the bite on Peter Parker. While this works for the ability to cling to walls and the good old spider-sense, I am less sure about the natural web spinning ability. I mean, on the one hand, the invention of his special web fluid was how we knew Peter was a brilliant young scientist, while on the other, how does the web go through the costume? No, this is not "No Prize" worthy, but it does bug me.
My thoughts on other changes: Yes, it was good to forget about Gwen Stacy, go right to Mary Jane Watson and completely ignore Betty Bryant, given the history of Peter Parker's love life. However, having MJ have a crush on Spidey smacks too much of Superman and Lois Lane for my taste, although since she is a high school senior they were right to tone down her sexuality from the bombshell Peter finally encountered in the comic. The Spider-Man costume looks a lot better than I thought it would and I certainly understand why the Green Goblin goes heavy metal. However, the yellow eyes on/off was a bit bothersome, although, again, I understand why you do not want two characters with giant eye blanks trying to have a lengthy conversation.
My biggest complaint with the film would be that the computer generated sequences of Spider-Man web-slinging through New York City just do not seem real. Granted, it is really hard to get a feel for watching somebody do that (compare it to Tarzan going through the trees in the old Johnny Weismueller films versus the Disney cartoon), but maybe they can do something in the future films. Similarly, some of the fight sequences when Spider-Man takes on a gang seem (ironically) rather cartoonish and, again, I wonder if it is because this is computer generated action.
The casting is fine, although Rosemary Harris never looks as frail as we all remember Aunt May. Tobey Maguire tends to keep things a bit too sedate with MJ after his transformation, but there is undeniable chemistry between him and Kirsten Dunst at key moments in the film. Willem Dafoe does some of his best acting opposite himself (you will see), and James Franco does a nice job of reinventing Harry Osborn for the modern world. Special kudos to J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson, who only has a limited number of scenes because he steals every single one of them. Look real quick to spot Stan Lee in this film.
"Spider-Man" is one of those films you give 4.5 stars, because it manages to surpass expectations in some key regards while still needing to be improved in some other areas. However, the basics are all here for extending the franchise and I have to think that the second time around they will fix all of these "problems." Ultimately, the faults are not of the comic book story but of the filmmaking, and who would have ever thought that would be the case? The main thing is that even hardcore Spider-Man fans are not going to be bitterly disappointed by this film.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
True Believers! For one reason or another, you fell in love with Spider-man. Maybe it was the comic books, or the cartoon series. But in any case, you fell in love with the Web-head. You wanted to be him. Climbing walls, swinging high over the busiling streets of the city that never sleeps. It was intriguing, beguiling, a dream within a dream come true. And now, it's just that, a dream come true...
Sam Raimi, along with the talents of Tobey Maguire, Kristin Dunst, and Willem Dafoe, all courtesey of the colorful imagination of Stan Lee, have created the best comic book movie adaptation (dare I say it, ok...) EVER! All your expectations are dashed and surpassed in over 2 hours of nothing but web-slinging action. I was totally blown away. Sam Raimi certainly had a definite vision for Spider-Man, and it shows. He faithfully recreates a hyper-reality New York City for Spidey. His execution of the mythos of Spider-Man onscreen is simply flawless.
And in these troubled times, isn't this what movie goers and film buffs want? Pure escapist fiction, comic books superheroes and exploits come to life. Stuff blows up, and throw in some computer-generated images for the kiddies, and patriotism for 9/11. Character and plot development, (the tormented superhero, and average joe who must struggle with the great power he has acquired and the great responsibility that he must deal with) along with exceptional talent and a director with a keen eye for the action flick to boot. Simply, it's pure movie magic.
You're a Spidey fan, and to see these characters come to life on the screen, in such an excellent manner, and it's just TOO much. I was estatic, the entire film. Spider-Man stands alone by itself a remarkable picture. Why criticize it when there's so much to love about it? Spider-Man has it all. Columbia Pictures, Sony, and of course Raimi and Maguire have their work cut out for them for years to come, both financially, and professionally.
It's Spider-Man, the comic book, the hero, the man, come to life. Don't miss this exceptional movie!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2002
Sam Raimi was the best choice for director for Spider-Man. His parents had a Spider-Man mural painted on his wall for him in his childhood, and he had the perfect vision for how Spider-Man should be. Better actors could not have been picked to play these roles; Tobey Maguire made the role of Peter Parker his. Kirsten Dunst was an excellent Mary Jane, and Cliff Robertson and Rosemary Harris were the best as Uncle Ben and Aunt May. J. K. Simmons stole the show as Jameson, who played the part magnificently; he literally WAS Jonah. Sam's brother Ted Raimi (from Xena) was a nice surprise appearing in the Daily Bugle office. Willem Dafoe's Norman/Goblin over-the-top performance was superb, but the armored costume took some getting used to. If you look quickly, you'll see Stan (The Man) Lee making a little heroic appearance! Right from the start, the characters are believable, and the characters are fleshed out wonderfully from the comic. A great deal of time was invested in getting a costume for Spidey that looks awesome; this endeavor was obviously taken very seriously and the designers did a great job.
The CGI Spider-Man was fantastic! The talents involved with the CGI captured Spider-Man's movements so flawlessly, I almost believed at some points that it was actually a person performing Spidey's complex acrobatic abilities and fighting style, but would have liked to see a bit more jumping; Spidey can jump pretty high and far, but will hopefully be more prominent when the character is older (in the sequels!) I'll have to get used to the organic webs; which was my least favorite aspect of the film. The creators decided it was easier than having to explain how he was able to pay for the chemicals for the webbing. This doesn't allow us to see Pete as a scientist, which I love, but maybe they will bring some of that out (and some higher jumping) for the sequel! More of the Bugle characters hopefully will make an extended appearance in the sequels, too.
The DVD is literally packed with special features from on-screen pop-ups that display information and tidbits pertaining to what was said, or shown in a particular scene, and a "spider sense" that takes you from the main movie to a mini-movie when you press the proper remote button. The menu selection is a visual treat and the DVD-ROM extras are a nice bonus, from Marvel dot comics to an Activision Spider-Man PC game demo. I would have liked to see some deleted scenes, but disc 2 provides some outtakes and gags which are a delight to see. It finally took a true, talented Spider-Man fan to turn out the best Spidey production I've ever seen. Sam Raimi's love for Spider-Man and the hard work of all the talented people in this film gave those of us who love Spidey an unforgettable movie experience, and just as much work was put into this DVD edition that is a pleasure to own.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
I have to say Spider-Man is one of the most refreshing comic book hero movies to ever come out. When I was a young kid, I was a huge Spider-Man fan with the action figures and comic books. As time went on and as I grew older I forgot about him, but that changed when I saw the previews for this movie. I finally saw the movie tonight and it brought back those care free days I had as a kid. Seeing Spider-Man was just one of the most amazing movie experiences (along with E.T.) ever. I have to say this movie was AWESOME. This movie truly has a great stand out cast. TOBEY MAGUIRE who plays Spider-Man did an amazing job. He brought emotion to the character that made him more human than any other hero in a comic book inspired movie. Another great performance was by KIRSTEN DUNST who brought the Lois Lane like quality to this movie, and gave one of her best movie performances to date. Together the two just ignited the big screen and as the sparks flew it gave the movie a romantic twist. The action scenes are amazing and they make you jump out of your seat a few times. All that along with the emotional journey that Spider-Man takes you on, thats what truly makes this movie so great and special. This is one Roller-Coaster ride i highly encourage any one to see. The ending is also a surprise and I will not give it away, but I will say some people liked it and some people did not, Go figure. I did not buy in to all the Hype of this movie. I went to see it cause I wanted to. SPIDER-MAN is breaking Box Office Records! Spider-Man was the #1 Movie at the box Office for the weekend of May 4-5 and had the largest opening gross ever its first week with $118 million. It broke another record in its second week of release on May 11-12 with grossing $72 million, which is the most any movie has ever grossed on its second week, and if thats not enough it is the fastest movie to pass the $200 million mark in only 9 days. I can see why because this movie is just AWESOME! I will be waiting in line when SPIDER-MAN comes out on DVD! Check Spider-Man out! Tobey and Kirstin you both rock!
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
When going into adapting a comic to film, there are usually two routes. The first route is the movie will be utterly disappointing and lacking any of the intensity from the book it is adapted from (see the Spawn live action film for example), while the second route is a riveting, very well put together film that carries the essence of the comic (the original Superman and Batman and the Blade series). Spider-Man isn't the best comic adaption to film, but this long awaited movie more than delivers the goods. Tobey Maguire is rather good and believeable as Peter Parker and Spider-Man and seems to be a great choice for the role in the future films, while Kirsten Dunst is as stunning as ever as Mary Jane Watson. James Franco perfectly captures the personality and insecurity of Harry Osborne, while Cliff Robertson and Rosemary Harris are very good as well as Uncle Ben and Aunt May. But the best casting and performance goes to Willem Dafoe as the Green Goblin/Norman Osborne, he is absolutely perfect as the maniacal schizo and is clearly having a lot of fun in his role, while an almost as perfect performance by J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson, who is perfectly cast and looks just like the character does in the comic. Director Sam Raimi (director of the cult classics Evil Dead Trilogy and the original Darkman) directs with his usual stylish flair (along with some shameless corporate promotions) and is a great example of how to make a comic adapted film with a director who knows the comic... All in all, Spider-Man may not be up there with the original Superman, Batman, and Blade, but it is more than worth a look...
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30 of 38 people found the following review helpful
First of all, this isn't a review of the Spider-Man movie or dvd. It's a review of the box set: Spider-Man Limited Eidtion DVD Collector's Gift Set. (I'll do a review of the Spider-Man dvd at a later time) It contains two dvds: 1) the Spider-Man widescreen special edition, and while I'm not going to go into it in this review, it is a great movie and a great dvd; and 2) Stan Lee's Mutants, Monsters & Marvels, which I've reviewed under the dvd, so I won't go much into this dvd here. But it is a very informative interview. These two dvds pretty much make the gift set worth the price. It also comes with a few 'collector's items' which I leave to you to decide if they make it worth picking up the gift set or just buying the dvds. There's a reproduction of the Amazing Fantasy comic that first introduced Spider-Man. It's monetary value is null, since it is a reproduction, but it is nice to get a copy of our favorite web-slinger's first appearance. A bit juvenile, but valueable for the Spidey-fan. There's a piece of artwork by John Romita Sr, nice but doesn't add much to the set. And finally there is a film cell from the movie (when Spider-Man is dodging Goblin's bats in the burning building). Also nice to have, but I found these collector's items don't add much to the enjoyment of the dvds. I'd say the gift set is only valuable to the hard core fan. Otherwise, just pick up the dvds.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on May 3, 2002
I actually got to see Spider-Man on May 3rd! In Japan it is highly unusual for a movie to come out on the same date as in America, there's unusually at least a 3 month wait. But surprisingly, I was able to see "Spider-Man" on May 3rd by getting reserved tickets! And I must say, the movie was so much better than I expected (and I had expected a lot!)
High school student Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) is while very smart is the school freak. His only friend is Harry Osborne (James Franco), son of scientist Norman Osborne (Willem Dafoe). He is also very much in love with Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) though he won't approach her. So he goes through life ignored and made fun of. But Peter's life is about to be turned upside down when at a high school excursion to the museum he is bitten by a genetically enhanced super spider. At first thinking none of it, he goes back home where he lives with his Uncle Ben (Cliff Robertson) and Aunt May (Rosemary Harris). But the next day, he wakes up to find himself with perfect vision and also a more muscular body! Stranger things happen in school where he finally realizes that the bite he got has given him special abilities which spiders have, from amazing agility, strength, extraordinary senses, and web flinging powers. He soon finds out though that with his new powers comes great responsibility. Norman Osborne has got a split personality, the other side of him being the evil Green Goblin. Peter knows that someone has to stop him... could that someone be 'Spider-Man'?
I must say that "Spider-Man" has got it all! *ACTING*: Kirsten Dunst is very believable as the not-so-perfect Mary Jane with her family and love problems. You can't help but feel for her character. Then there's Willem Dafoe as Norman Osborne/Green Goblin. His scene where he confronts 'himself' in the mirror was remarkably well down, it takes an enormous amount of talent to be able to portray two different personalities like that. And I mustn't forget Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man/Peter Parker. He can show his expressions so well, from his shy smile to Mary Jane, his turmoil of grief, his determination to stop Green Goblin, and his excitement when he first tries out his superpowers. You can't help but become attached to his character. Though I have never read any of the Spider-Man comics, my father has and he was so delighted to find that the editor of the newspaper seemed to be right out of the comic book, from his looks to his attitude.
*PLOT*: Intriguing plot, making the two hours of the movie seem to flick by so fast. The story has plenty of surprises and twists, making the whole entire time very enjoyable. The first thirty minutes or so was very light, I was laughing a lot on the mishaps of Peter Parker's previous life to becoming Spider-Man. But from then on it became a little bit more serious, the ending climaxing to explosion of action and excitement! The end might put off some people but I found it highly satisfying. I can't tell what happens but I must say that the end definitely calls for a sequel! As for the humor and seriousness of the film, I always believe that most all movies should have the right balance of these two points. And Spider-Man was great, having plenty of humor to keep my laughing yet a serious tone to it which was essential to the movie.
*ACTION AND F/X*: The action is so well done that through the last hour or so of the movie I was on the edge of my seat! All of the confrontations of Spider-Man and the Green Goblin were very exciting, the last 'battle' (as there usual is) the most tense. As in the trailers, Spider-Man does not only get to fly and fling himself through the air, he also gets to do a lot of hand-to-hand fighting and kung-fu. Applause to the fight coordinator. The F/X were pretty real yet had a sort of comic book feel to it making it very easy to watch and enjoy. Watch Spider-Man fly through the air, send out webs, twist in the air in what seems like impossible moves, and fight evil with the agility of... well you know, a spider!
*PG-13 RATING*: The film is rated PG-13 for 'stylized action and violence' but I think think there should be added 'and for some language'.
So my conclusion is, "Spider-Man" is a GREAT film and I most definitely will be getting the DVD as soon as it comes out! Maybe see it in the theaters a few more times :-). I also recommend two other super-hero movies which are my favorites, "Superman" with Christopher Reeve and "The Shadow" with Alec Baldwin. "Batman" was also interesting though it didn't make much of an impression on me.
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